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Full text of "Gérôme : the life and works of Jean Léon Gérôme"

LIFE 

AND 



/■-•' Si 



: > ■ 






JEAN 

LEON 

GEROME 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/grmelifeworksofjOOheri 



/ /\ 



GEROME 



-I KA.V LEON GEROME 

389 



EROME 



THE LIFE AXD WORKS OF /AM IBOA GERdME BY FANNY FIELD ///-.RING. 
/■ROM AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NOTES AND LETTERS BY THE ARTIST HIMSELF, 
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY AUGUSTUS ST. GAUDENS. INCLUDING A 
PORTRAIT OF GBROME, NINETEEN FULL-PAGE PHOTOGRAVURES, AND 
TWENTY-FIVE FULL-PAGE PHOTO-PROCESS REPRODUCTIONS OF HIS 
PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURE, TOGETHER WITH FIFTY PENCIL-DRAWINGS, 
M ui/ ESPECIALLY FOR THIS HOOK BY GERdME, AND EXECUTED BY BOUS- 
SOD, VALADOA fir CO., SUCCESSORS TO GOL'PIL. 



/fc~i.y r 



PUBLISHED BY CASSELL PUBLISHING COMPANY ® ® ® ® 
ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR AND ONE HUNDRED AND SIX 
FOURTH AVENUE NEW YORK ®®®®®®@® 



■ 
i I PUBLISHING I OMPAN\ 



Alt right* reserved. 



INTRODUCTION. 



THE pleasure of associating my name with that of Ger6me led me to 
accept impulsively the Clattering proposal that I should contribute to 
this work some expression of my feeling toward him. Now that I 
think seriously of what I have undertaken, the first thing that occurs to me is 
that the author should he thanked lor her earnestness and spirit in making 
the production of this work possible and in inducing Ger6me to give us now 
his own history of a life so tilled with artistic interest. 

There is in his art. apart from its elevation and virility of style, that which 
ranks him in my mind with the Greek artists. So much so. thai I feel he would 
have taken his place in the everyday life oi Allans; I involuntarily imagine him 
in all the joyous contrasts of the blue skies and superb architecture, sharing the 
brilliancy and nervousness of Athenian lite when the Parthenon was built It 
seems to me that this feeling represents the unexpressed thought ot many ot his 
admirers. 

Since an early winter of our Civil War. when, as a hoy. I stopped evening 
aftei evening at Goupil's window on Broadway and adored G6r6me's Death of 
Ccesar, my admiration for him has never wavered, ami to be called iiixin. aftei 
nearly thirty years, to give expression to my feeling under these conditions, and 
to add one more wreath to his laurels, is an enviable Opport unity. 

AUGUSTUS ST. GAUDENS. 



REFACE. 



1AM asked to write .1 preface for a book which treats only of me and my 
works, and to present it to the public. I feel peculiarly embarrassed, the 
more so thai I am ignorant oi the art oi writing; but as 1 wish, above all 
things, to please the author, I yield. However, I question whether a preface 
is really necessary ; ordinaril} one does not read it. and I think a good work 
can very well dispense with it. Thus, then, deai reader, it you will take my 
advice, turn these first pages and go directly to the book. 

This volume is written 111 English, and I am unacquainted with this lan- 
guage, —consequently I can express no opinion about it, hut I have my tears that 
tlie friendship which unites me to the writer has placed .1 bandage ovei hi 1 
and that the estimate herein found is too 1 ulogistic and tar above my poor merits 

I wish only to give my general impressions about contemporaneous art, alter 
having east a glance at preceding epochs. Everything is connected and hound 
togt ther 111 the arts as elsewhere, and one is always the son oi somebody. 

The Vanloos, Simon Vouet, Jouvenet, etc., had passed away; David had 
come. He created a new school, that is to say, another manner oi seeing and 
feeling. This painter of greal talent and of great will had considerable influence 

upon the artists ol his time. hie wished In lead back art to the antique, lone; 
Since abandoned, hut. unhappily, he drew his inspiration from the works ol the 
Greek decadence instead of going back to Phidias and Ins predecessors. The 
Apollo Belvedere, and Diana, tin- Huntress, necessarily led him to the Rape of the 
Sabines, and Leonidas 0/ Thermopylae, works which are cold, without character, 
without movement, and without life. On the contrary, when he gave expression 
to his individuality, he painted portraits ot the first order, and a picture, The 
Coronation of Napoleon, which is a work ol great beauty, aid does honor to the 
1 'renc b School. 

Alter him, M. Ingres, altera profound observation ot antiquity, revived more 

healthy and exalted ideas. He was the undisputed chiet ol that (.'lassie School 
which, during lone; years, contended with the Romantic School, whose most 
illustrious representative was Eugene Delacroix. This struggle took plaa not 
Only in the plastic arts, but also in literature, Victor Hugo being there the high- 
priest. By the side ol these two opposing forces another power made its way; 
this band ol artists and men ol letters received the title ol the School ol (.ood 



Sense. Paul Delaroche and Casimir Delavigne belonged to this party. The 
contest was hoi and the harshesl criticisms were nol stinted on either side: 
each violentlj attacking the other, which in turn did not spare the opposing 
party. A blow for a blow, an eye for an eye, was the device oi the com- 
batants. This epoch was disturbed, bu1 gave evidence «>! an extraordinary 
vitality, and extremely powerful works in every genre were the result of 
these epic conflicts, In these times, one believed; one possessed the sacred 
in*- Art was a religion and artists had faith ; faith, thai enormous power 
thai can nunc- mountains, 

This pleiad ol men ol meril shed a dazzling light, and this epoch need envv 
no other, for science, literature, music, all the arts had as representatn es men oi 
eminenl talent, who shone with incomparable brilliancy 

li would perhaps be useful to re\ iew the long list of these different celebrities, 
and the catalogue would be very curious and interesting. The nineteenth cen- 
tury is and will remain one ol the greal epochs ol the world . it has made a giant 

sinde in advance, and lor a period oi hiiv years the achievements easj to he 
enumerated have been Stupendous; lor il is in our day. to eite only the principal 
discoveries, thai photography, chloroform, electricity, the telephone, etc., have 
been utilized and that we have employed steam to annihilate distance. Steam is 
the connecting link between nations. We behold only the debul of these things; 
hut the way is open, it is fertile, and we ask ourselves where human genius will 
pause and what our sons will see. This little digression concluded, let us return 
to the plastic arts. 

Toward the year 1848, the French School, taken as a whole, had nol that 
powei of expression which il has since acquired ; in the main it was rather weak. 
and this no doubt was owing to the primary studies having been neglected; it is 

austere and profound studies that make greal painters and greal sculptors ; 
one lives all one's life oil this foundation, and il it is lacking one will only 

he mediocre. Just as a good breeder feeds his colts with oats in order to 
make of them strong, Sturdy horses 111 the future, so young artists should be 
nourished with the marrow of lions, and led to the purest springs to quench 
their thirst. 

From this somber mass, composed ol artists who possessed only a secondary 
merit, several brilliant personalities stood out in relief, luminous meteors, who 
Caused the other artists who revolved in their orbil to appear still more dull. 

Since then the fecole has perceptibly improved, has strengthened in its manner ol 
seeing, feeling, and reproducing . i1 tonus a more powerful, more homogeneous 
whole, a more imposing ensemble. Unfortunately, the number ol painters, and 
consequently of worthless ones, has increased beyond all measure; it is because 
painting is nowamatterol commerce; formerly the profession did not securea 



PRt vii 

man bis bare living to-day il lias becom< .1 paying thing; ii is only the sculptors, 
nowadays, who die of hunger. Bui this is owing to complex causes and ii is to 
be feared that these reasons will always exist. 

For some years the sentimenl which governs arl productions has been com- 
pletel} changing, and the works of men who m then time bad many admirers, 
are for the moment, entirel} unfashionable and despised. I think thai this is 
\> i\ unjusl to these artists, formerly great, and thai they are uol treated with the 
respect <hu- to them, but it lias been thus since naturalism was invented. 

Now. there ma] be 1 in naturalism (and I am oi those who observe with 

interest all these diverse manifestations, because, <m the whole, movement is life); 
nevertheless, I avow, it seems to me we area little too near the earth ; and, foi 
example, one can sec in an exhibition oi two thousand pictures many can 
well painted and ol a truthful and striking appearance, but in tins total yov ma} 
deem yoursell fortunate il you run across two or three works which appeal to 
heart and your soul. They have abandoned themselves to realism, to common- 
and indiscriminating realism ; the letter has killed the spirit, and poetry has 

tied to the liea\ ens. 

Formerly, French artists had undisputed precedence over foreigners, when 
ecuted pit tures where research from the plastic side, and the portrayal ol 
ideas, simply comprehended and clearly, powerfully expressed, constituted the 
basis ol the work ; now they are devoted to the picturesque, which is more 
convenient and easy. The last Exposition demonstrated thai in other countries 
beside our own there are excellenl artists m this style. 

From the picturesque we have advanced to the strange, from the strain 
the bizarre, from the bizarre to the fantastic ; one would say that a ^ust of mad- 
ness was sweeping over our heads ; where are we going to stop ' 

But these mannerisms will not long be able to usurp a place in the Kcolc. 
ami I am not unduly anxious ; tor that which distinguishes us. the foundation "I 
the French character, is perspicacity and good sense 




LIST OF PHOTOGRAVURES. 



Jean Leon Gerome, 1889, . . . . . . . . . . . htle 

The Christian Martyrs; or, Thi Lasi Prayer, i860 ro 1883, ... 8 

G Mia, •• 1 1 is Finished," 1868, .......... 24 

CEdipus; Bonaparte Before mm Sphinx, 1886, ....... 36 

The Gladiators (Sculpturi Bronze), 1878, . . . . . . j8 

I in Muezzin (Ai Night), 1882, .......... 56 

I'm l'\ rrhk I ) \s< i , 1883, ........... ~2 

ENS Quem Devori I. [889, 88 

Grand Bath \i Hum «\. 1885, .......... 104 

Springtimi (Arabia), 1890. . . . . . . . . . . . 116 

Tin Carpei Merchant, 1887, ........... 128 

I in I 11 'i vi 1 "i 1 in Ser \'.i 10, 1886, ......... 136 

The Rose, 1889, ............. 1 5 ^ 

I hi End "i 1111 Seance, 1887, .......... 168 

Love, mm Co queri ir, 1889, . . . . . . . . . . . 1S4 

The Marabout, 1889, ............ 200 

Bathsheba, 1889, 21 2 

GaTI hi I! \r.-i 1 -/hi 1 1 , l886, . . . . . . . . . . j 

I in P01 r's Dream, 1886, ............ 240 

Tanagra, 1890, ............. 264 



LIST OF PHOTO-ETCHINGS. 



PACINI) PAOI 



The I )i i i m 1 1 1; i in Ball, 4 

Ave GiBsar, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 

I'ma m li :e the Areopagus, . . . . . . . . . . 28 

I in rwo A M.l rs, ............. 40 

1 in Ai \i 11 , .............. 52 

I in Pris iner on the Nile, . . . . . . . 68 

( ATRA \N|. Cl-\k. ............ 80 

The Death of C/ESai . . . . . . ... . . . 92 

I 111 Si w 1 M \kki 1, ............ 10S 

Tin Grand Winn Eunuch, .......... 120 

For Sali [32 

i. t. mini n. i gris1 . ............ i44 

Ri k Tibii in 156 

,\ CoLl VBORATION, , . . . . I 7- 

POLLK I Vl RSO, I So 

The Return from mi Chase, 192 

'I'm Arab \\ s Steed, . -04 

A\ \< reon (Si 1 1 11 1 re) -i" 

["he Circus Maximus, . . . -- N 

Louis XIV. an Gri m Conde -3'' 

Negro Keeper of Hounds, . . . -44 

I 11 1 Harem in mm Kii isk, .......••■• -5- 

I111 Si hi 1 ' i i . . . . . • • 

I'm I 1 111 I in 1 \, 26 ' s 

liu Two Kings 2 7 l> 



I N, \Kl I Ih IV Ski 11 HES hk\«\ r\ 1.1 t 

him TOR nil- WORK, INTERSPERSED im-' HOUI nil n NT. 



LIFK AND WORKS 



JEAN LEON GEROME 



Whoever would fully understand the work <>i Ger6me, unequaled, since the 
days of Leonardo da Vinci, in its marvelous comprehensiveness, must know him 
not only as painter, sculptor, poet, savant, and teacher bul as a nnui. When 
thai Icing of critics, Theophile Gautier, announced the debut oi the youth ol 
twenty-three in the memorable words, "Lei us mark with white this happy 
year, for a painter is horn to us' lie is called Girdme. To-day I tell von his 
name, and 1 predict that to-morrow he will be celebrated!" even he, with his 
acute perception and prophetic eye, could not have foreseen and measured the 
heights to be attained by the boyish "chief of the neo-grecs," 'or that, fort} years 
later, almost overburdened with decorations, titles, and laurels, lavished upon 
him by all civilized nations, he would he acclaimed the most eminent represent- 
ative ol high art of this nineteenth century. 

Nor does G6r6me's experience confirm the ancienl adage, too often true, that 
"a prophet is not without honor save in his own country." For he has received 
from the French nation the highest tributes at her command, by the hands oi 
king, emperor, and president of the Republic, successivel} interpreting the will 

ol an appreciative .\m\ grateful people. Men illustrious in poet ry. science, and 

belles-lettres proudly claim him as comrade and confrere, he counts only friendly 
rivals among his brother artists, and the most captious of professional critics are 
hushed to an admiring silence before the symmetrical beauty and power oi his 
achievements, while for thirty years an ever-increasing throng oi ardent stu- 
dents, from all climes and countries, notably our own. have pressed around 
him, eagei to follow in the path which he has trod and in which be still leads 
them, steadily striving after mon perfect realization and expression of truth and 
beauty. 

A thorough study of the life and works oi this artist, who justly hears the 
title of Master, in its fullest sense, [eaves one penetrated with wonder, admiration, 
and Loving reverence. At an age when another would think of little save well- 



//// l\/> WORKS Ol // M I i,<\ G&R6MI 

earned repose and tranquil enjoyment oi a world-wide fame, behold this veteran 
oi sixty-seven, with surpassing vigor and delicacy of conception and execution, 
still giving to the world masterpieces, in both painting and sculpture, any one oi 
which would confer immortality on its creator. The mosl esteemed authorities 
who can legitimately claim to form and direcl public opinion have again and 
again borne witness to the remarkable breadth and dignity of Ger6me's art. 
From them we shall gain a fullei appreciation ol his attainments, a deeper insight 
into hi-, aims. The Master's own words, too, while betraying the unaffected 
modestj characteristic oi truly greal natures, will reveal to us a nobility of 
conception, an energy ol achievement, a loftiness ol aspiration, and a passion foi 
the truth, as genuine as they are rare. \<l<l to these transcendent qualities the 
profundity "i a scientist, the imagination oi .1 poet, a perception trained by years 
ol travel and research, and a skill thai triumphs over all difficulties oi tec hniqui 
fuse and blend the whole by the white heat oi thai gifl of the gods, the un- 
quenchable fire "I genius, and we have Gerome, the artist, fitly described by an 
eminent writer in the London Athenaeum as "the august leader ol the French 
school, in whoso hands, more than in those of any one else, rest the nobles! 
traditione il and learned school." 

Before entering upon ,1 careful consideration oi Gerdme's \ast achievements 
in ill their captivating detail, ii is desirable to take a rapid survey of his work as 
a whole, especially comparing the opinions oi the most illustrious critics among 
hi-- own countrymen, whose broad and scholarly training inclines them to be 
exacting to the verge of severity, and whose judgment is therefore oi inestimable 
value and weight to those who desire to study these fascinating creations in their 
many-sided bul harmonious entirety. 

llis productions naturally group themselves into several distinct classes, 
which draw their inspiration from the Antique, the Orient, Modern History, and 
the realm ol Fantasy the latter finding its themes anywhere in the wide region 
thai lies between ancient mythology and our ultra civilization. 

Among the pictures in the tirst group which display the highesl artistic 
qualities, combined with the science of the savant and the historian, we ma> 
number the Combat de Cogs, Anacrdon, A Greek Interior, Bacchus wi,/ Love, Age 
0/ lugustus, Ave Caesar, Imperator ! King Candaules, two presentations of the 
Death ol Caesar , Phryn6 before tin- Areopagus, The Two Augurs, Socrates seeking 
Alcibiades at the house of Aspasia, /'//<• Comedians, Cleopatra <///</ Caesar, Pollice 
Verso, The Circus Maximus, and The Last Prayer, otherwise known as /'//.■ 
( 'hristian Martyrs. 

\\ e max not dwell here on the varied beauties of these masterpieces, in which 
we find poetie idealitj and historical accuracy, classic simplicity and wealth ol 
decoration, dramatii intensitj and religious resignation, humor, pathos. - 



//// AND WORKS Of II I \ ll'j'.Y i,l /,, 3 

philosophy, action, repose, the J03 oi life, the majesty oi death! And all 
crystallized in a beaut} oi form thai can only be modeled by the hand oi the 
greatesl master oi draughtsmanship in the world. 

h seems almosl inconceivable, yel there have been critics of limited per- 
ceptions and faulty education who have ventured to reproach Gerome for the 
archaeological erudition displayed in many oi his pictures! I fancy thai most 
of us will agree with Gautier, who pronounces n "one oi the mosl interesting 
provinces oi painting, while always remaining within the conditions oi art, 
to resurrecl a vanished civilization and evoke the image oi things forever gone 
from sight." 

h is to be regretted thai there exists no reproduction oi one oi the mosl 
importanl examples of Gerdme's power in ihis direction, namely: The Age oj 
Augustus, an imposing canvas nearly thirty feel square which adorns the walls 
oi the National Museum al Amiens. The condition oi art in France, at the time 
this picture was painted, has been well described by Allied de Tanouarn, a 
thoughtful observer and able writer. 

(in. is astonished [he sa\'s|. and with just cause, that our painters Oj 
history have remained so far helow the level ol our historians. Ilisi 

painting, far from reflecting the splendors oi written history, becomes more and 
more obscure. How explain so sad an inconsistent J - 

" In the first place, we must lay the blame lor such a stale ol things on the 
slighl education ol the greater number ol our artists. Their mih care being to 
become acquainted with the material secrets ol their art. they forgel to pi 
themselves with a stock oi ideas. They are mill-stones which have no wheal to 

grind, and which turn in a vacuum a very fatiguing exercise lor those who 
perform it and tor the spectator. Assuredly, to represent an animal, a tree, a 
flower, there is need ol correct judgment, a poetic spirit, and a skillful pencil; hut 
to attack historic genre, entirely different arms are necessary, Above all. beware 
of thinking that it will suffice to have vague, incoherent, and badly digested ideas, 
which you have received at the moment ol commencing your canvas. He who 
would take his first lesson in fencing an hour before presenting himsell for the 
encounter, would run no trifling risk ' It pleases you to execute a scene m 
Roman history; will you hastilv read some translation ol a passage m Titus 
Livitts or Tacitus' You will thus only obtain a work without character and 
without depth. You should have lived long years in close intimac} with your 
pel onages. One succeeds more easily with the portrail ol a man whom one sees 
every day; one can only represent, in their striking reality, the nations and hi Oi 
wnli whom one has become familiar through study and reflection. Here science 
is not the enemy ol inspiration, since, on the contrary, inspiration cannot spring 
forth where there is no science. In a word, il, in order to paint religious pictures, 
one must believe to be a historical painter, one must know. And so much the 
more to-day, since the progress ol history has rendered us more exacting toward 



I ////, AND IIOXA'S Ol J I M ll.o\ G&RdMl 

painters, and when we arc inclined to demand much of them, they arc able to 
gn e us Inn little. 

II the artisl possesses sufficient instruction, another obstacle presents itsell 
to him. History, it is true, has in our day been treated in a superior manner ; but 
there exists no mural bond, ii" common thought, among our historians. Each one 
id them interprets events a little after his own fancy. The painters oi histor) do 
nol work differently. They scarcely follow anything bul theii individual caprice, 
and often the) stra) awaj withoul perceiving it themselves, from historic genre 

and [all into pure lanlasv . 

"Finally, romanct occupies a no les> important place than history in the 
present literature. It has lately touched upon questions that seem the most 
foreign i<> it; it aspires to everything. It has been in turn religious, philosophical, 
and social; lugubrious, fantastic, and humorous; maritime and rural, sentimen- 
tal and satirical, aristocratic, bourgeois, popular. It has traveled through all 
epochs of history and to all the corners oi the earth. It has penetrated all the 
mysteries oi the heart and all the recesses ill society. In a word, the romance 
has become the favorite distraction oi well-to-do people, and the intellectual 
pasture oi the lower classes. Now, it is the painting oi genre which, in the 
domain ol art, corresponds to the romance in that ol literature. It add 
itsell to the same tastes, to the same appetites. The painters ol genre have 
then multiplied among us in proportion to the novelists. They have increased 
rapidly; they have invaded every domain, excusing themselves for thus lowering 
the level oi .hi ii\ the necessity ol pleasing the crowd. This excuse is nol 
valid, save lor feebly endowed minds. 

" The artist who has the consciousness ot his strength does not consult, with 

servile anxiety, the inclinations ol the multitude; he interrogates himself. He 
should not follow the public, hut lead it. It is tor him to command, not to o 

" »i clonic merits then, more than any one. serious consideration and thought- 
ful attention, since he has endeavored to fertilize a field become sterile by dint 
ol having been cultivated. 

"Devout worshiper of /■/ grande peinture, he is worthy to enter into the 
temple and to serve the divinity. It is then with pleasure that we devote i 
this study, in which our aim is to consider him. above all, as a painter <>! history, 
although he has shown his powers in almost every genre. 

'The young artisl acquired at Rome that taste lor Latin antiquity which he 
has always preserved, sinc< the most important pictures executed by him up to 
ih. presenl momenl (i860) are borrowed from the Romans. Far he it from me 
to complain ol this; I am not ol those who sa} : 

•• ' Who will deliver us from the Greeks and the Romans?' In the first place, 
the imagination will never free itsell from the remembrance of these two nations 

destinies have been so glorious. Besides, they offer to the paintei 
guides and suppoiis, literary geniuses ol the first order: and it is no despicable 
advantagi to bi abli to di in one's inspirations and images from writers such as 
Herodotus or Thucydides, Titus Livius or Tacitus. One must nol however adopt 
one nation to the exclusion of all others. The artist is a traveler, who should 



*r 





•• 




I III. \ND WORKS <>/■ // l\ l/o\ ,,/ - 

roam through history as through a vasl domain, and no1 choose any countn 
where he will elecl to remain forever; he should go e\ ery where and live nowhere, 
A. journey through Egypl is the complemenl ol ever) voyagi having foi its aim 
a profound knowledge of antiquity. Ii is in Egypl thai the civilization ol the 
pagan world commenced; but ii vegetated there, slowly and silently: ii onlj 
manifested itsell in its expansive energy among the Greeks and the Romans 
Greece explains itsell by Egypt, and Rome by Greece." 

Tins able dissertation was evoked by the exhibition, al the Salon of 1855, 
ot the Age 0/ Augustus, in which the artisl has grouped around the throne ol the 
deified emperor types ol all nations and epochs, displaying in striking measure 
the knowledge and skill which drew from the distinguished Charles Blanc, one 
of the immortals of the French Academy, and former director of the Beaux- 
Arts, the opinion that "GfirOme, among other merits, has not Ins equal in the 
art ol particularizing races, and of transforming into powerful types the most 
profoundlj individual physiognomies." tie further characterizes this canvas as 
"a \ 1st and noble work." 

In the introduction to the " History of the Works oi Thtophile Gautier, 
valuable and eloquent treatise by the Vicomte de Spoelberch de Lovenjoul, we find 
the following well-merited tribute: "Lei us acknowledge, without fear oi exag- 
geration, Theophile Gautier is, iii our estimation, the tnosl perfeel French stylist 
of his age and perhaps of all time. No one has knowi better than he how to say 
preciselj what he wished to say. and his pen reproduces the most intangible 
nuance, the most fugitive impression, with an absolute perfection." 

[n the absence, then, ol any pictorial reproduction of the Age of A ugustus, ii is 
doubly a matter tor congratulation thai Gautiei was so impressed by the lofty 
ambition and extraordinary learning shown in this composition, thai he devoted 
to it ten pages ol an inimitable critique, itsell a picture glowing with 1 
which we give in lull, regretting profoundly, in this ease as in all other citations 

in this volume, the loss ol the more exquisite shades id phrasing inseparable from 
every translation, however conscientious and sympathetic. 

When we remember also that (ierome spent more than two year.-, ol arduous 
labor on this canvas, and finished it before he was thirty-one j'ears old, we may 
easil) comprehend the astonished admiration ol these older minds before the 
profound acquirements oi a comparative youth. 

It was of the section devoted to the bine Arts at the Universal Exposition of 
1855, that Gautier wrote: 

"Most of the masters ai this greal Exposition have done nothing 
to plac< again before eyes which had not forgotten them, the most perfeel 
canvases among their glorious works. One would say that, having arrived 



I III-. AND WORKS, Ot /I IX li:o\ ,,/./ 






at the middle of this century in which they wen- bom, they wish, on this supreme 
occasion, to force the world to recognize their title to nobility and their right to b< 
inscribed in the livred'oroi painting; but very few of these magnificenl pictures 
an contemporary with the present era. M. G6rfime, who is young, through 
honorable modesty, has not thoughl tit to draw upon his recent masterly produc- 
tions, which we should have seen again with pleasure: the Combat </<■ Cogs, 

I. Int&rieur Gret . Bat , hus < t 
V Amour, Le Temple de Pcestum, 
L'Idylle, etc. Everything that he 
exhibits appears lor the first time, 
lie. like many others, might have 
contented himself with an assured 
success in remaining within the 
limits ot a pure, tine, and graceful 
talent ; hut, seized with a nobler 
ambition, he has risked an im- 
mense composition on a gigantic 
', canvas. 

"Ilis Age of Augustus is a 
valiant effort, which we trust will 
find more imitators ; such noble 
daring is too rare youth, nowa- 
days, is too prudent; M. Heroine 
deserves this praise, that he is 
seeking, with all his might, 
beauty, nobility, and style ; in 
tael. all the <|Ualllles ot serious 
art, and that he often attains 
them. He has made a genuine 
historical picture, in the lofty 
Sense in which this word was 
formerly understood, and he merits the chief place in the new generation, 
A page ol Bossuet has inspired the artist with the idea of his composition. 
We shall quote it. at the risk ol giving to our prose the doubtful luster which 
the neighborhood ol pure gold imparts to copper: 

" ' The remnant ol the republic perishes with Brutus and C'assius ; An tuny and 
Caesar, alter having ruined Lepidus, turn one upon the other; the entire Roman 
powei is found upon tin sea ; Cesar gains the battle oi viiimi tin forces oi 

Egypt and the ( blent, led by Antony, an . mi. i. d ; all his 1 1 lends abandon him, 

even his Cleopatra, for whom be sacrificed himself Everything gives way 

before the fortune Oi Caesar; Alexandria opens to him her gates, Egypt becomes 
a Roman province; Cleopatra, who despairs of being able to retain it. kills 
herself, alter Antony ; Rome holds out her arms to Caesar, who, bearing the name 
ol Augustus and title of F.mpcror. reigns sole master ol the entire empire; he 
conquers, in the neighborhood ol the Pyrenees, the Cantabrians and the rebellious 




THE CHRISTIAN MARTYRS 

OR 

THE LAST PRAYER 



///•'/ L\/> WORKS 0/ // M VdME 9 

Asturians; Ethiopia sues for peace; the Parthians, terrified, send back to him 
the standards taken from Crassus, togethei with all the Unman prisoners; India 
seeks Ins alliance; the power oi his arms is felt by the Rhaetians, whom their 
mountains could not defend. Pannonia recognizes him, Germany fears him, and 
the Weser submits to his laws. Victorious on land and sea, he closes the Temple 
ot Janus. The whole universe lives in peace under his rule, and Jesus Christ is 
bom into the world.' 

I he canvas ot (ierome is not unworthy this sublime page and can serve 
as an illustration lor it. We shall try to describe, as well as words will pi rmit, 
the appearance of this vast composition, which embraces an entire ccntun and 
a whole world in a synthetic form. Against a sky of placid azure, untroubled by 
a single cloud, is outlined the Temple oi Janus, with its pediment surmounted 
by the quadriga closed lor the third time since the foundation of Rome: m ilu 

round can be seen, in the haze ol the distance, the ramparts and towei oi 
the Eternal City. The soft and luminous serenity of an apotheosis floods the 

upper portion oi the canvas, giving an idea of peace, repose, .and happiness. 

Before the Temple, Augustus, deified, i^ seated upon a throne ol gold, suppi 
by a pedestal of granite, on which this inscription is engraved in lapidary style 
and lettering: ' Caesar Augustus, imperator , victor Cantabrorum, Asturum, Par- 
thorum, Rhcetorum et Indorum, Germanics, Pannoniceque domitor, pacificator 
orbis, pater patriot. ' 

" Ceesar Augustus has the nude torse ol the great gods oi Olympus; a white 
drapery covers his thighs and knees; the victor's crown encircles his brow ; 
a scepter is in his left hand, while with the right he K ms on the shoulder ol a 
figure ol Rome, personified by a beautiful helmeted woman, clad in a shon red 
chlamys, a shield on her arm, and holding reversed the point ol a useless lance 
twined with laurels, a symbol ot peace acquired bv victory. 

Near the emperor one perceives the statuette of Jupiter Capitolinus 
and tin eagle drawing near to the master with an air at once caressing and 
respectful. 

'The countenance of Augustus calm, majestic, radiant is ol a noble 
character; like the immortals who know everything, Ins eves regard nothing, 
and his lips are closed in an immutable halt-sinile. A human Jupiter, he needs 
but to knit his brows to win the world ; his body, whose smooth contours give no 
prominence to the muscles, betrays a virile but thoroughly intellectual po 
which has nothing of the sturdiness ot the athlete, the defects oi nature have 
disappeared; the Besh lias become marble and the man, God. In the midst oi 

this immense composition, Augustus, immovable and pale, lias the appearance 
o! a statue worshiped bv a prostrate universe. The figure ol Rome is no less 
happy. She alone dares to lean against the throne m a pose ot familiar and 
superb grace. Shi is at home in this glory, and the splendors of the apotheosis 
illuminate withoul dazzling her. She regards Augustus as does a wile her 
beloved husband: Rome and the emperor, do they not form, indeed, a divine 
couple? Her figure, noble, pure, and linn, attests an eternal youth and just dies 
the meaning of her mysterious name. 



lo ///■/■ i\/> WORKS ol // l\ II. o\ G&R&MI 

\\ the righl angle oi the pedestal stands young Tiberius in a white toga 
and prason mantle. Beneath the juvenile charm ol bis features profound and 
sinister thoughts reveal themselves, and one divines a precocious satiet} presaging 
the monstrous debauches ol Capri a 

" Behind Tiberius arc massed, in attitudes ol resped and admiration, the men 
"i state, senators and consuls, among whom one recognizes Agrippa, the foundei 
oi the Pantheon ; Maecenas, whose ancestors were Icings ; Marcellus, thai hopi oi 
thi world, whose premature death inspired the singer <>i the /Eneid with such 
eloquenl verses. 

1 I'm this group corresponds thai <>i the poets, tin- hit, rateurs, and the artists ; 
the gentle and melancholy Virgil, pressing to Ins bosom as it to indicate thai 
beautiful thoughts come from the heart the chef-d'oeuvre which he desired 
should he burned after Ins death ; Horace, so lyrical, mi witty, and so wise in his 
feigned intoxication; Propertius, Tibullus, Livius, Vitruvius a sculptor with his 
chisel, an actor with his mask ; everything that makes up a greal age, such as the 
age oi Pericles 01 Augustus; the age oi Leon X. or ol Louis XIV, 

"On the marble steps oi the monumental staircase which leads from the 
squan in fronl oi the temple to the second plane ol the picture, is stretched oul 
the body oi Julius Caesar, assassinated; Brutus and Cassius, the Orestes and 
Pylades ol this political murder, have alread) descended several steps, and are 
starting lor Philippi, where the die is cast which seals the fate oi th, Republic. 
Brutus still grasps bis poniard, and seems troubled by the tender reproach ' In 
quoque, mi ////.'' Cassius, bis band shading his eyes, seeks to pierce the veil ol 
the future. 

"Cleopatra writhes on tlie body oi Antony, charming even in ber agony, and 
meriting, by the undulating curves of her beautiful figure, the title of the 
'Serpen! ol the Nile.' given to her by Shakespeare. The Egyptian pshent 
encircling her pure Greek head causes her to he instantly recognized beside the 
herculean body of her lover. Each enemy forms a step of the throne ol 

\ LlgUStUS. 

" At the loot ot the staircase throngsa kneeling, prostrate crowd, which kisses 
the steps touched by the buskins oi the emperor, throws flowers, and waves palms ; 

fr the furthermost ends of the then known world the nations hasten to make 

acl ol submission. Here arc- Indians from the hanks of the Gai niched 

in ]ioscs ot idols upon an elephant, a heavy massive animal with a ladder on his 
flank by way ol a stirrup. Theii bronzed skin, their odd weapons, their mon- 
strous fetiches, mounted on the ends ol long lance-Staves, like standards, recall the 
battles of Darius and Alexander. Vanquished by the Macedonians, they arc now 
subdued by the Romans, as later on they will he hy the English. 

'Behind the Indians com a re, representing the extreme Orient ; by his 
shaved head, and fantasl icallv llowercd rohc. it is not difficult to recognize the 
ancestor of the Chinesi hi brings, in tribute, a coffei filled with silk tissues, A 
Parthian restores the eagles taken from Crassus Rome could never have been 
defi ated ' \ woman from Central Asia, in almost savage costume, pushes before 
her two children, infantile Roman citizens; a Greek, with casque, cuirass, and 



LIFE \ND WORKS Oh // l\ LEON GERdME, II 

enemides, acclaims the divine Augustus ; a Gaul, clad in the skin of a wild bi 
whose open jaws form a cresl above Ins head, makes his wa} joyousl) toward 
the throne. 

" We mention only the principal figures, for the crowd is great, and no gaps 
are visible on the well-filled canvas. 

" ( )n the other side, to counterbalance i be elephant and Ins burden of Indian-. 
advances a file of dromedaries, with Arabs perched up aloft, draped in their while 
burnous and carrying, as weapons, hows and bucklers; Egyptians, with theit 
sphinx-like countenances; Xnniidians. preserved till now from the yoke bj thi 
nearness ot the desert, but whom the power oi Augustus has reached even in the 
midst of their sandy wastes; an aged sovereign oi some fantastic kingdom oi 
Transoxiana. or Chaldea, approaches sullenly, supported, as ii on two living 

crutches. 1>\ two deim nu.le slaves the one Yellow, the other black. He wears 

strange weapons : a sceptei decorated with plumes, a robe of brocade, a crown with 

golden points. \nd with his silver} bend flowing in great waves, and his air oi 
river-god or magian, hall-idol, hall-monarch, he seems sunn- fabulous apparition 
from unknown regions. Lictors and soldiers oi irresistible muscularity drag 
along b\ the hair captives of both sc\es personification oi the rebellious prov- 
inces obliged to submit to superior force. 

"Aparl from all this movement stands a personage with a reddish beard, 

clothed in miserable rags, which make a blot , >u all lb is luxury ; he III list be a Jew . 
perhaps the lather oi AhaSUerus. A purse oi leather and an inkhorn hang al 

lus side; his onh weapon is ,i walking-stick, and he regards vaguely this proces- 
sion of nativ es w ho despise him and whom he is to SUH 

"Let us return now to the center ot the composition, forced as we an 
neglect a thou -and ingenious and characteristic details ; but a picture is read at a 

single glanci the lines are spelled out one by one. 

" Before an altar where the acolytes have jusi sacrificed a bull, over the gray 
embers and charred bones of the holocaust and the withered leaves of crowns and 

garlands, shines a luminous group, sheltered by the wings of an angel. The little 

child has just been bom ; he wails while Cesar triumphs, his only courtiers the 
ox and the ass ' 

"The confused presentiments of Virgil are accomplished. As he has said in 
his prophetic verses, a new order of a^es is beginning : 

" Ultima Cumaei venit jam carminis aetas ; 

ius at) integro saeclorum nascitur ordo; 
Jam redit, et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna; 
Jam nova progenies coslo dimittitur alto. 

" In order to emphasize more forcible the contrast between the pagan ami the 
Christian world, between the world of matter and that of mind, the painter has 
borrowed from the Gothic art his naive grace, his modestly restrained poses, his 
infantine timidity, for his figures of the Holy Virgin, of St. Joseph, and the child 
Jesus. He has introduced into hi- grand antique bas-relief an engraving "ii 

wood ol Albeit Diirer. 



i -' ///■/ AND WORKS (>/ II l\ l/.<\ G£ROMl 

rhe upper zone of thi painting where the apotheosis is taking place lias 
the serene immovability, the harmonious rhythm, the balance of line oi a fronton 
of white marble, sculptured in the facade oi a temple ; the lower zone presents a 
strange swarm and tumuli of people and costumes, in which there is more liberty 
"i capi ice. 

" M. Gerfime excels in ethnographic paintings, as he lias proved by a frieze 
foi the vase commemorat ive ol the Exposition ; no one seizes more perfectly than 
he the distinctive characteristics ol a race, or renders them with a surer touch. 
Hen he had to represent nations, the greater part ol which had disappeared 
without leaving anj traces, or lived only on some medals or fragments ol sculp- 
ture ; and w hen archaii al ■ ii til i I ailed him. he has had recourse to his ingenious 

imagination, and invented savage Rhaetians, Parthians, Hindoos, and Germans ol 
the mos1 likel] barbarity. This part oi the picture assembles the most curious 
details oi amis, jewels, costumes, coiffures, and physiognomies; nothing is 

commonplace nor made at a venture. Everything is the result ol infinite 

thought and rcscan Ii 

"In beholding this beautiful canvas, where Augustus, deified and radiant, is 

isolated OH a thrum oi gold at the top ol a white staircase, whose first steps are 

bathed by waves ol barbarians, having near him only a young warrior unarmed, 
the idea occurred to us that the ea>d had too great a number ol worshipers ; that 
ili. 11 hordes were moving forward, massing themselves, and becoming more and 
more aggressive and savage, and thai soon the] would submerge this luminous 
platform where. 111 the golden and blue atmosphere, smile Peace, Poetry, and Art. 
" We do nol know if M. Gerfime had this idea, but it springs up naturally at 
the si^ht ol these tranquil groups, beneath which loams and surges the rising tide 

oi barbarity, checked only lor a moment. Rome will always he ' tin lily,' par 

excellence, hut St. Peter will replace Caesar, and the Roman Empire will disappear. 
"The composition oi the \ge of Augustus is ol high philosophical imporl 
it satisfies the mind and arranges itself happily upon tin- canvas; the drawing 
oi the nude figures and the draperies displays style, knowledge, and strength; 
unfortunately the color is a little thin tor so large a canvas, which needs to 
he more empdtee better nourished, so to speak. The artist lias wished to 

remain sober and pure; and in an atelier, doubtless tOO small, he has probabh 
not sufficiently taken into consideration the demands ol perspective in a 
picture ol these dimensions." 

Alter a minute and critical survey of this memorable Salon, Gautier a 
returns totn'rome's noble work and. with increased admiration, declares it to be 
no •• medioi re glory foi a young artist thus to achieve a place among the acknow- 
ledged masters, wdio are supported by a past Idled by renowned creations "; and 
adds, "The Age of Augustus will rank as one of the great canvases ol the 

Exposil ion." 

This superb eulogy from such a source deepens our regrel thai this master- 
piece has never been photographed or otherwise reproduced lor the benefit ol oi 



LIFE AND WORKS OF // IX LEON GEROME 



'3 



collections and students. In this, as in all (irninu's pictures representing nol 
only absolute historical facts but the social conditions and customs oi bygone 
ages, as well as in the great mass of those taken from Oriental life, this artist 
reveals bis extraordinary pre-eminence as a figure painter. A.1 an early age he 
recognized the fact that an absolute masterj oi the contour ami anatomy oi the 
human body is essential tn the expression oi the noblest forms ol art. Working 
in the atelier of Delaroche. where Greek 
antiquity received the most profound 
consideration, and almost exclusively 
absorbed the attention of the students, 
the young artist, with eye and mind ever 
on the alert to discover and supplement 
his weak points, realized that Nature 
was the great fountain-head of truth 

and beauty, and applied himself with 

rigorous conscientiousness to the more 
difficult study of living models, lie dis- 
covered for himsell the truth repeatedly 
.md forcibly emphasized by Philip Gil- 
bert llamertou, cine ol the most gifted 
and able among English art-critics. 

v. that ' ' the serious si udv of the 
naked figure is the only possible founda- 
tion lot great figure painting." 

Indeed, one need only examine the 
various schools of art. from those- oi Ancient Greece to the leading modern 
academies, to find everywhere this fundamental law recognized and taught. 
The greatest oi German critics, the immortal Goethe, appreciated and continually 
enforced it. His opinions on this point are admirably summed up in a striking 
review of his ' ' Yerschiedciics iiber Kunst," from the pen of the accomplished 
fhei iphile < rautier, Ills. 









I 




'The aesthetics oi Goethe [he writes], the principle-, which he professed in 
regard to the plastic and glyptic arts, are condensed in this species of appendix. 
Stripped oi all artifice of style, laid down as laws rather than counsels, we 
recognize thai they are written by this intellectual fupitei enthroned upon the 
Olympus of German art ; and il is not only his omnipotence, the despotism he 
imposed on all branches of art which has gained for him this title ol Olympian ; 
it is also, and above all. the nature of his principles and his .artistic tastes. 

"Goethe is essentially pagan ; he everywhere glorifies antiquity, not only in 
his literary works but in these detached and. so to speak, scientific fragments 



14 III I AND WORKS, Of Jl i\ //i>\ G&RdAfl 

which we are now considering; we find here a mass oi notes on Greek vases, 
medals, and engraved stones; he follows up attentively all productions, all 
creations, all memoirs having reference to antiquity. When the excavations were 
begun on a large scale al Pompeii, be described in detail the paintings and obje< ts 
discovered there ; he was conversanl with everything thai was published, in all 
languages, on the subject of his predilection ; it was he who authenticated the 
paintings oi Polygnotus and Philostratus. It appears that this love of antiquity, 
oi pure art, was innate with Goethe, and radiated from his entire person- 
ality He placed art .dime everything; he wished th.it it should be a star, 

to shed its lighl over all our action . ill our productions, like the beautiful Attic 
sun gilding with it-, rays the inimitable marbles oi the Acropolis, the lines .-mil 
contours ol whuh it has nol wearied oi caressing for centuries. Be the high 
position he occupied .it the enni ol Weimar, which the Grand Duke Charles 

Augustus had made the intellectual capital ol Herman v . Got tin was m a position 

to efficaciously patronize the arts and to lead them in the direction he desired. 
Wliile giving his counsels to artists, and principally to sculptors, to whom 
antique art furnished more themes than to painters, he indicated al the same 
time to sovereigns, and personages influential b) their position or their fortune 
the means oi favoring the development of art and the subjects which should he 
chosen, as much in the interest of the artists, as lor the advantage id those who 
patronized them, and tor the promotion of public taste. He would have liked to 

lor example, the vases, columns, temples, and obelisks, in promenades and 
parks, replaced by statues and. principally, busts. 'The most beautiful mon- 
ument of man,' says he, is imin. A beautiful bust is preferabh to all the 
architecture oi our gardens, and it is the best monument one can raise m 
remembrance of a greal man. a relative, or a friend. One should nol too 
exclusively occupy sculptors with insipid allegories, or historic groups and 
statues, where art is always restrained by exigencies ol every nature, Xo one 
should be astonished to sec m sonic council-chamber, or any other official locality, 
a group representing Venus and Adonis, or some subject drawn from Homer.' 

■'But if Goethe is so passionate an admirer of antiquity, it must not be 
concluded, therefore, that he admits only antique subjects; his lofty intelligence 
would grasp too well the taultmess of this method, which has produced among us 
the deplorable school ol David : ami this last example, perhaps, inspired him to 
avoid the breakers on which too exclusive a doctrine would have dashed him. He 
counsels one to simply study Mature. 

"'On /</<■ days | he says| let the young artisi go to watch the peasants 
dance; let him Study well their movements and their poses, let him clothe the 
young girl with the tunic of a nymph ; let him lengthen the ears of his peasant and, 
it needful, give him cloven feel ; if he has grasped Nature well, and known how 
to suitably modify her corporeal forms, while carefully preserving the movement, 
no one will suspect the quarter whence he has taken his models and they will 
swear that he has copied from the antique.' 

" Have we not here the entire explanation of the antique, and does nol the 
secret ol this inimitable perfection lie in exact and scrupulous observation not 



///•/ l\/> WORKS Oh // IX I h>\ (./.KOMI 15 

oJ \s li.it is ugly, bin oi the beautiful in Vature? Is il tiol also the province of art 
to gather together beauties scattered here and there, and combine them in a 
harmonious whole, an ideal model, whose movements can be infinitely varied, bul 
whoso /onus should be always reproduced, thus avoiding the indelicate and the 
grotesque. I larmony is what makes the power of the antique, and Goethe re< om 
mends it everywhere and unceasingly. 

•■ 'There exist in Nature | he says] many things which separately are beauti- 
ful. Hut genius consists in finding the point oi contact by which they can be 
attached to each other, and a masterpiece thus be produced, There is not a shruh 
1101 a tree to which one cannot adds value hv means oi a rock, a pool ot water, or 

a horizon skillfully arranged. It is the same in regard to the human form ami all 
animated beings ' ' 

" When Goethe recommends the study oi Nature, it is not ot inanimate nature 
that he speaks; it is not of landscape, on which he dilates hut little: still less 
ol still life, which he does not so much as mention. Nature, for him, is man. 
Man. according to him. includes e\ erything ; and the knowledge ol man. far from 
being a limited physiology, comprehends the study of all the arts and all the 

sciences. 

" ' Man I he savs| is the most elevated, the unique object ot the plastic arts ; lo 
understand him. and in order not to go astray in the labyrinth of his construction, 
a universal acquaintance with organic nature is indispensable. The study ol 

inorganic bodies, as well as of physical and chemical phenomena, is not less 
necessary to the artist, who should know theii theoretical principles. The human 
form cannot be understood by the simple inspection ol it outward surface ; the 
interior must he uncovered ami fathomed, the connections and correspondences 
observed and the differences estimated; those mysterious portions ol the being 
which are the base and foundation must he compared and understood. All this 
must Ik- done it we wish to get a clear idea ol this wonderful object which moves 
before our eyes in the waves of the vital element.' 

We find the same ideas in a masterly essay by Charles Blanc, who writes 
as follow s 

\ll«! having admired the universe, man comes to contemplate himself. 

He recognizes that the human form is the one which corresponds to the 
mind that, regulated by proportion and symmetry, free by movement, superior 
through beauty, the human form, of all living forms, is the only one capable 
ol fully expressing thought." 

(ieromc. as we have said, apprehended this truth at the very beginning ot his 
career. On his return lo the atelier, with perceptions broadened ami sharpened 
by a year of indefatigable study at Rome, where he had sketched indiscrimi- 
nai.lv landscape, architect lire, animals, ami figures -he felt more keenly than 
ever his pressing need of practice in drawing and painting from the nude. He 
.set himself to make a life-size study, and the result was the Combat de Cogs I 



i6 



I II I I VD II ORKS Of /I I \ i / , • \ ,,l Rd Ml 



him n was onlj a stud} and, in his already severely critical estimation, an 
unsatisfactor} one, Bui the trained eye ol Delaroche instantly perceived its 
amazing qualities "I verit} . originalit} , and elegance oi style, by which an every- 
day incident in thai epoch oi Greek life was elevated into the domain of classic 
art. At his express command, and despite the trembling protest of the young 
neophj te, the canvas was sent to thi Salon of 1847. '' was accepted and, though 
placed twenty meters above the line, where hung Couture's imposing Decadence 
of the Romans, and Delacroix's famous Shipwreck, the simple s tudy carried ofi a 
medal, was boughl 1>\ th< I rench Government, and assigned a place among the 
Immortals in the Galler} oi the Luxembourg, It was this firsl picture which 
attracted the attention ot Gautier, who warml} praised its " delicacy and exquisite 
distinction," and pronounced il "a composition no Master would disown." 

Our attention has several times been drawn to another criticism ot this same 

pi( 1 inc. It reads as follows : 

The subject was thus early in his history characteristic ol Ger6me, who 
has shown a decided preference for incidents in themselves horrible. or morally 
repulsn e." 

This extraordinary accusation, the shocking injustice ot which is evident 
to any student oi G£r6me's wanks, is found in a volume entitled "Modern 
Painters and then Paintings," b} Sarah Tytler, We should accord it only the 
silent contempt u merits, were n not thai the 1 k is designed, as we see empha- 
sized m the preface, "for the use of schools and learners in art." To sa) the 
least, it is discouraging to take up, in this enlightened age, a treatise with this 
aim. and realize that so marked a narrowness ot apprehension exists in a mind 
thai presumes to guide and teach others, We prefer to believe it the result oi 
ignorance ot the subject treated, rather than rank it with a like judgment ol that 
inimitable philosopher and moralist. Balzac, who, even alter posterity had begun 
to estimate, at their real value, his stupendous merits, still found detractors to 
cast upon him what Gautier trenchantly denominates as "thai hackneyed 

reproach ol immorality, last insult ol powerless and jealous mediocrity, as also 
ol pure stupidity." 

Ilamerton also, keenly realizing the hurtful influence of illiberal criticism. 
deplores the ignorance, which in reality is the chiet cause of the " difficult} with 
which people, not familiar with the naked figure, come iii sever the ideas ,,t 

nudity and immoralit] and adds: II writers who arc destitute ut pictorial 

perceptions, yel have a command of language, become for some reason warmly 
interested in a discussion about artists, they are able to do considerable harm, 
because they combine the ignorance and willfulness of infancy with the com- 
bative skill of trained intellectual method." 



LIFE AND WORKS OF J I /. LEOh GER&ME. 19 

We heartily agree with Mr. Hamerton, and are content to offsel the opinions 
oi this class oi self-styled critics, as superficial ;m«l incompetent as they are detri 
mental to the progress "I true art, by the judgment of so learned and world 
renowned an authority as Alexandre Dumas, who writes oi Gerdmi 

"A serious talent, and oi an elevated order; an artist who looks a1 his art 
nobly and who devotes to it his existeno ever) instant, every thought; one 
breathes freely again before such works as his; above all, when, like us, one has 
sighed, ' Alas ! the standard oi ar1 is being lowered ! ' " 

Or to quote the words of thai othei distinguished immortal, the eloquenl and 
gifted director of the Comedie Franchise, Jules Claretie 

"(ierome can. with good right, treat these antique subjects and \i\ilv them 
with his art. so sober, so chaste, so pure." 

And again : 

•• His art is like his person, like his intelligence ; everything which hears his 
signature, he it bronze 01 canvas, -ketch or marble, is true, vigorous and dis- 
tinguished, like himself, In a word. Gerdme is a thoroughbred." 

And it is with peculiar satisfaction that we hail the advenl oi an American 
writer like Mrs. C. II. Stranahan, who, iii her "History ol French Painting" 
(published by Scribner in 1888), has made the most valuable contribution in the 
English language t.. the arl lit ratun oi our daw It is a volume that might 

well be used as a text-book in all arl academies, and that certainly should have B 

prominent place in every public and private library. Although one may differ 
with some ol the author's conclusions, the work reveals broad and thoughtful 
study, combined with .1 Inn capacity for criticism, and a literary style remarkable 
tor grace, lucidity, and vigor. We take pleasure in quoting freelj from Mrs 
Stranahan's admirable book. 

In opening her study oi GerOme, sh< says 

" The artistic qualities ol Ger&me bave been the subject of much discussion. 
His rare endowments are a study ot great interest. He is an Orientalist ol so 
in lime a treatment that that alone would suffice to render bun eminent; hi 
executed great historic works, that singly might make bis tame universal ; he is 
so learned a painter ol the antique, that a close study of this department oi bis 
work produces a sense oi amazed wonder in view of the underlying knowledge 
,u\ 1.1 afford his significant touch of motifs, by which he introduces us into 
family circles and enables us to chat ol everyday affairs with the heroes ol 
one and another period ; be has applied to incident the classic treatment, and 
originated a new style, the refined and graceful neo-grei , he has, even at tin- time 

when he was .me of the closi I "I Nature's students, made liarmom ol line SO 



///■/■ \ND WORKS 01 II I \ IIHY i.i.NoMl 



prominent a pari of his work, thai in the difficulty of assigning him to anyone 
class ol painting, it has been suggested by Strahan that he he termed 'a sculptor 
ol canvas'; he has attacked and conquered some of the most difficult problems ol 
art execution such as uniting the most finished treatmenl with great rapidity 
tit movement (as in The Runners of the Pasha; "the catching "I .1 motion" as 
it were, by instantaneous photography); the greatest success oi fore-shortening 
(as in the Mat level oi Caesar's dead body and that in the Execution 0/ Marshal 
VI 1 1, and difficulties oi design are Bung broadcast in his works." 

Referring to some oi the scenes in which Ger6me simply relates, without 
comment, a historical fact, such as the exposing oi the heads oi the rebel beys 
before the Mosque oi Id Assaneyn, <>r where he depicts an everyday scene in 
the slave market, leaving it to tell its own pathetic tale, Mrs. Stranahan speaks 

ol the truthful por- 
trayal of the " indif- 
oi familiar 
custom," adding : 

"Manj critics 
feel that some ex- 
pression "i m 
volting impression 
made by these 
heads, would, but 
for the coldness of 
the arti>t himself, 
have cix-pt into this 
picture. Hut bi 
being subordinately 
a correct representation of the national characteristics, is not the effeel sought, 
the emotion oi horror, which also has its reverse side, sympathy, greatly 
enhanced by the picture's supplying no comment on itself, which would. 

indeed, lie wholly superfluous! This reticent flash of an instant ol facts, left 

i" tell all there is to say, is peculiarl} Ger6me's. This and The Slave Mart. 
wiili cithers of this artist's works tint arc severely criticised by sensitive 
judges as oi a harsh coldness, become, in their full suggestion, oi a nature to 
produce deep feeling, a thrilling sensation oi anger or pity for the wrong 
depicted. This power is inherent in the wide gamut across which the antitheses 
represented in them sweep in the contrast to the absence oi all feeling, oi 
such extreme provocatives to feeling. The effect, where, as with (. 
the scene is given with no strain oi fact, hut by simply the revelations of 
an instant, is thrilling. It is the significant point ol these subjects, the one on 
which, we may con lecture, their .selection hinged, and evinces a keen appreciation 
by the artist of the means ol exciting emotion. It is also illustrated most 
powerfully in that selected moment ol the Duel after the Masquerade, when 




Illl AND WORKS Of /AM ifj>\ G&RdMl 21 

Death, grim and relentless, not as a mask easily thrown off, comes among the 
masqueraders al their invitation, and the victor, in the character of a chief ol the 
Iroquois, and his second, forgetting thai he is Harlequin, turn indifferentl} 
leaving the pallid victim, with Ins mask oi Pierrot dashed aside, to die in Un- 
arms of his second, dressed as the Duke ol Guise. The horror here is again 
doubled by the antithesis. Through and through it, in all the contours, in the 
attitudes, even in the back oi the receding victor, is apparenl the significance, 
which Gerdme's patient study of nature can so well express. In all Ins works 
may be traced this clear, direct, epigrammatic presentation. Tnih Ins pictures 

are hut reports' ot scenes, acts, incidents; hut in Ins hands th.\ Lpletely 

31 tpe becoming a purely literary art. lie simplifies them into tin- presentation 
ot the essential and significant verities, and unconcernedly leaves them to impress 
as they may. Hut well may he he confident ot the effect, for with Ins penetrating 
feeling, which is a something too susceptibly perceptive to he denominated mere 
ocular vision, and his wide sweep ol the gamut of significant expression, he 
always touches the exact keys." 

Returning again to "la belle France," we find in La Galerie Contemporaine 
a masterly review from the pen of tmile Bergerat, known to all the world as 
"Caliban," the witty philosopher of the Tarts Figaro, and still more highly 
esteemed as poet, dramatist, ami art critic, worthily wearing in the latter capa< itv 
the mantle bequeathed to him h> his intimate friend and kinsman, " le grand 
rheo," as Gautier was familiarly called. 

\tter brief reference to the wealth of knowledge and imagination displayed in 
the pictures which he places under the head ot I'anlaisics, " Bergerat continues : 

Scenes from Oriental life form the most considerable portion ol (icronic's 
; the numerous voyages of the artist furnish him with an inexhaustible 
quantity of picturesque themes, which find their tountaindiead in his great powers 
ot observation. Bui the paintings devoted to the restoration ol the antique 
are those which, taken all in all, are dearest to the master; it is through them 
he awaits his meed of fame, to them thai he has confided the survival of his 

11 His expectation will not he deceived on this point. Under this head can 

he found canvases that exhale beauty like a page ol Tacitus or Juvenal. 

"I wish in the beginning to emphasize this truth : that which caves ('■crome 
Ins superiority over most ot his rivals, and establishes his v erv distinct personality. 
is his incontestable erudition as a man and an artist. He has innate tact and 
taste ; hut he nourishes them with fruit from the tree ot science. It m.iv appear 
stale and behind the times thus to boast ot qualities of a literary order in a painter, 
and to praise him for being well informed regarding the subjects he treats; hut 
since 1 began to look at and study pictures, it has tioi \, i In en demonstrated 
to me that a profound knowledge ot the subjects portrayed is hurtful to their 
execution. Truth merits research among the graphic documents and lilei.nv 
monuments of historj as well as among living and contemporaneous models, and 



//// \ND WORKS Of II I \ I /■m ,,ii;nn 

the farther we advance in the path oi progress, the more will art be tinged by 
science, and the more will it adorn itself with the colors of knowledge." 

We leave foi a momenl these paintings, which revive so skillfully the con- 
ditions ni life in the nine of Pericles and the Caesars, and nun to those which 
are drawn from actual observation during GerSme's many voyages especially 
"1 Egypt, Arabia, Palestine, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Algeria, Morocco, and Spain. 
\\ hen we find thai by actual counl we have nearly two hundred canvases which 
may be denominated " Pictures "I Travel," we come face to face with tin- impos- 
sibility "I gh ing anj ad< quate risumi oi the artist's bewildering achievements in 
this direction. His numerous and well-filled portfolios oi sketches which till 
"•'« have been forthemosl pari "sealed books," save to a few intimate friends 
reveal the source oi these truthful and vivid reproductions ol life in these pictur- 
esque and fascinating countries. We congratulate ourselves again that a morning 
spenl by Gautier in Ger6me's studio, over these very portfolios, inspired this 
gifted w hi, i to embodj his impressions in a delightful article, cut it led. "Gerdme 
Pictures, Studies, ami Sketches ,,t Travel," (nun which we quote the following 
pages, thai will in a measure reveal to us the broad and solid foundation on which 
tins Master-Artist has reared his Temple Beautiful. 

"The countries where Islam reigns are entirely virgin, in point ol view of 
art. The lear oi idolatrj caused the promulgator of the Koran to proscribe the 
representation ol the human figure. In this respect. Mahomet imitated Moses; 

although the Bible speaks of the heads ol the cherubim at the corners of the Ark 
of the Lord, .and ol the o\en upholding the sea of hrass. the exception only con- 
firms the rule, the idea ol the unit] oi God could easily have been forgotten by 
uncivilized nations, scarcely freed from polytheism .and the worship of fetiches, 
always prone to confound the image with the idea it symbolized; this necessan 
law perhaps suppressed sculpture and painting, in a word, all the plastic arts, 
and the genius of the Orient was obliged to fall back on architecture, ornamenta- 
tion, arabesques, and an ingenious milange of colors ; the living world was closed 
to man. .and dogma a dogma moreover, rigorously followed deprived him ol 
Mature. While the Occident, under the beneficent influence ol Catholicism, (we 
say Catholicism and not Christianity, for Luther and Calvin are as detrimental to 
art as Mahomet ), was expanding 111 marvelous creations, and counting its painters 
.and sculptors l>\ hundreds, the Orient was combining and arranging mathematical 
lines, in a thousand ways, lor the decoration ol us alhambras, scarcel} daring to 
introduce flowers into i he labyrinth of broken lines and long legends oi cufic 
letters which form the background of Arabic ornamentation. They had archi- 
tects, algebraists, physicians, musicians, and poets, hut no artists, in the sense in 
which we use this word to-day. 

However, the Orient produces, in its land beloved of the sun, the most 
beautiful races, the purest types; -and the human clay, less altered by civilization, 
seems here to retain the si ill visible i in pi mi oi a divine hand. 



LIFE AND WORKS <)/■ // i\ LEOh GERdMl 2;, 

"It has preserved, at least partly, the drapery, a noble garment which plays 
around the form without concealing it; it has the privilege of eleganl and 
attitudes, which our scanty clothes render impossible. Since several centuries, all 
this wealth is lost ; and more under jealous \cils. and behind the gratings of 
harems, are fading away, mysterious beauties, leaving neither trace nor souvenir; 
roses, whose perfume can only he conjectured, since they have blossomed only for 
the master; heads as exipiisitc as any Raphael could have designed ; bodies as 

perfed as m\ Phidias could have modeled ' Singular anomaly ! 

"One cannot hope that the countries dominated hv Islamism will renounce 
their peculiar civilization to embrace the ideas set forth by our own ; hut what is 
forbidden to the faithful may be permitted to the unbeliever. 

" Until now. art, wholly absorbed by the Creek ideal, has not troubled Ltseli 
about this immense world, peopled by unknown races, by unused types, and which 
could refresh, by new subjects, its exhausted inspiration. 

"'Idle Occident, in the time ot the crusades, only brought back from Africa 
and Syria ideas in regard to architecture and ornamentation; if the Sain. 1 
influence is visible in the art of the Middle Ages, and if the mosques have lent 
their minarets anil even their crosses to Gothic chapels, one does not perceive 
that the statuary and painting ot these epochs have been modified by acquaintance 
with, and studj ot. these Oriental types. The representations ot Moors and 
Saracens in bas-rebets and miniatures are works of pure imagination, Lati I 
Jean Bellin made a journey to Constantinople and reproduced, with the dry 
and patient fidelity which characterizes him, figures, costumes, and monuments, 
whose strangeness, doubtless, struck him more forcibly than did their beauty, 
and which had no effect on ail 

"The Orient, from its picturesque side, was discovered, or rather invented, 
by Victor Hugo, toward the year 1828; the Occidental-Oriental Divan ot Goethe 
had not yet been translated; and even had it been, the French people would not 
have understood its mysterious poetry; but the 'Orientates' (of Hugo) produced 

tzzling effect : this blue heaven traversed by white storks, this glittering sun, 

streams oi gold and precious stones, these pachas leaning on tigers, these 

resplendent sultanas with their shining blond tresses, languidly raising then 

eyelashes stained with khol ; these palms powdered by the wind oi the desert, 
these cities with their metallic domes and minarets of ivory stretching up into the 
azure, these tiles of camels swaying their long ostrich-like necks against a ruddy 

horizon, all this poetry, as dazzling as the light, as intoxicating as hasheesh. 

caused a vertigo of admiration above all, among the painters. Soon Decamps 
headed the Turkish patrol through the streets of Smyrna, Marilhat started I"' 
Egypt, and Eugene Delacroix came back from Morocco; later, other artists joined 
the caravan where Felicien David beat the drum. However, we must say that, 
in spite of many masterpieces, the Orient was rather reproduced with its strange 
landscape, its singular architectural forms, its brilliant carnival ot costumes and 
its varied wealth ot color, than studied as to the sculptural beauty of its 

types. Marilhat. more of a landscape than a historical painter, has peopled In 

admirable canvases with purely episodic figures ; Decamps has often only seen in 



24 ///■/ \ND WORKS Of II IV I u>\ G&RdMZ. 

his Turks. his Zeibecks, and Ins ^.rnauts, a brillianl or somber spot to be brought 
into reliel againsl the chalky masonry ol a white wall, although he proved by his 
Supplice des Crochets, and his Bazar </<■ Smyrne, that he was able to reproduce 
Oriental types in ill theii purity. Delacroix expressed, with rare power, the 
African character, but sought rather for color and movement than for lineament 
in Nature. Theodore Chasseriau, who seemed endowed with a mysterious in- 
stinct in painting exotic races, saw only French Xfrica, and, better than anyone 
else had done, he depicted the narrow, oval face ; the languishing, parted lips ; the 
melancholy black eyes, shadowed b) long, painted lashes; the delicate nose with 
sensitive nostrils, the round arms and dainty hands, the statuesque limbs and 
fee! the voluptuous attitude, and all the rhythm ol the bodies swaying beneath 
strange, floating draperies. 

" His Jewish Women <>l I onstantine astonished one like a dream ; In- would 
doubtless have penetrated farther into the land of the sun, it Death had 
tiol suddenlj covered him with its shadow, lor In- cherished the longing 
and desire to see these beautiful countries, as it they had been an a1 
Fatherland. 

" Gerome has made the pilgrimage dreamed oi by Theodore Chasseriau. He 
has seen Cairo, thai capital ol the Bast, that city ol caliphs, where Saracen art 
shone with such vivid brilliancy while the West was still plunged in uncouth 
barbarity. He has roamed through the winding streets bordered by houses with 
overhanging stones and latticed moucharabys, shaded by striped awnings or rush 
in, lis, wiih here anil there a slender palm opening its leafy fan against the blue 
ol heaven, or the minaret of some mosque stretching up. encircled by its brace-. 
lets oi balconies. He has followed this crowd, composed of all the types ol the 
Orient, from the \ral>ol noble race and the stern Wahahite. to the negro with 
his bestial features; from the Arnaut. with the nose and eye oi the eagle, to the 
placid fellah, with the face oi .in Egyptian sphinx; this crowd which sepa 
under the lash oi the courbach before the horse ol the Bey, accompanied by Ins 
sais. and which draws hack against the wall so as not to touch the wife of the 
cadi, passing like a phantom in her domino of taffetas, with her lace covered by 
a mask of black horse hair, and chiding the negress who carries a child in a red 
tarbouch and jacket embroidered with gold, 

" The young artist mpanied by several friends, has ascended the Nile in 

one ol those cangues, whose commodious and picturesque installation mak 
journey through Egypt a veritable pleasure-trip. Photography, carried to-day 
to the perfection we all know, exempts artists from copying monuments and puh- 
lii buildings b} its absolutely faithful proofs, to which a happy choice of a point 

ol \ lew and moment Of ieprodueli.ui add a great value ol etleet. Therefi 

was mil 10 this point thai Gerome directed his efforts ; his masterly studies as., 
punier of history, his talent as a draughtsman, refined, eli ict, and yet 

lull oi style, a particular pereepii.ni, which we can well call ethnographic, and 
which will become more and more necessary to the artist in this age ol un 
and rapid locomotion, when every tribe on this planet will he visited, in whate\ ei 
distant archipelago it maj conceal itself all this qualified him, better than any 



GOLGOTHA 

IT IS FINISHED 






LIFE \ND WORKS iU-//l\ L&ON G&R6ME 





\ 



other, tn represenl this simple detail which modern explorers of the Orienl have 

neglected, till now, for landscape, public structures, and mere color- I mean, man ! 

"Ger6me has kindly permitted us to examine the contents of his portfolios, 

and to Study, One by one, these pencil sketches, taken on the wing; rapid notes 

gathered from real life, without preparation, without arrangement, without 
system with genuine abandon and a charming familiarity. What pleasure to 
surprise talent thus en dishabille! to he initiated into the impression of the artist 
in the very moment of Nature's inspiration; into his thought, translated, 01 
rathei crystallized, by several characters 
in shorthand! We love dearly these 
scribblings, — words, which later are 
made into phrases m the pictures 
finished at leisure. 

" Besides, the slightest of 
Gerflme's sketches are drawn 
with a touch so firm, so pure, 
so precise, and so finished 
in their carelessness, that 
one wonders what can 
be added by further 
labor ! 

"The artist trav- 
eler has made numer- 
ous pencil portrait- 
studies of different 
characteristic types . 
there are fellahs. 
Copts. Arabs, negroes 
of mixed blood from 
Sennaar and from 
Kordofan, — so exactly 

observed that they could be used in the anthropolt 
drawn in so masterly a manner that they will make a success of any picture 
in which they find a place. 

"The fellahs and the Copts have not changed since the time of Moses : such 
\'iu see them on the frescoes of the palaces or tombs of Amenoteph. of Toutmes. 
and of Sesourlasen such are t hey to-day. We find always the large, Hat face, 
with the rounded cheek-bone-,, which seems to have retained, like the Sphinx, the 
Dial k ot the blow of Cambyses ; the strange eyes, with the outer angle raised and 
accented by a touch of antimony; the slightly Hat nose, making a defective 
profile; a mouth like an enormous cage, while on the sensual folds of the 
lips rests a mingled grimace and smile, which imparts an indefinable expression 
unknown in Europe. The chachias and burnous which envelop these strange 
physiognomies, cause- them to resemble mummies partly unswathed, and with 
the face uncovered. 



\ 





jical treatises ol M. Series, 



26 LIFE AND WORKS Oi II I \ LEOA GERdMi. 

" The Arabs are distinguished by the nose, an eye like a bird of prey, the more 
Caucasian structure oi the head, and the openness oi the facial angle ; the negroes, 
in their gaze oi animal placidity or childish heedlessness, scarcely betraj an 
intelligence as opaque as their skin is dark , their Bat nostrils and thick mouths 
can inhale with impunity the flaming blast oi the desert, even when laden with 
the imperceptible dust raised by the kkamsinn. 

"Several women, persuaded l>\ a bacchich, timidly lifl then veils and display 
a sleepy, mournful beauty, of the phantom-like order peculiar to the women ol 
the East 

•The camel thai strange animal who seems, with the elephant, the rhi- 
noceros, the hippopotamus, the giraffe, and the ostrich, to have survived the 
greal forty-da) deluge, and to have remained upon the earth as a specimen oi 
the monstrous zoological furniture of the primitive world has been studied by 
our traveler from all sides, its behavior, its fore-shortening, its attitudes when on 
the march or in repose, kneeling, ruminating, dreaming, licking its chops, show- 
ing its teeth, stretching out on the ground its enormous neck, or fanning, with 
its long lids, an eve as soft as that oi a woman, the only beauty of this antedi- 
luvian deformity, The artist has reproduced with extraordinary care the humps 
and callous hide, the awkward dislocations and warpings, so to speak, of this 
fantastic animal, as well as the unexpected silhouettes traced by this irregular 
bundle Oi hones on the white sand or the blue sky. In these sketches one 

can distinguish perfectly between the heavy pack-camel and the slender mahari, 
which is to the former what the English thoroughbred is to a common dray 
horse. 

"We should never finish were we to describe the infinite number of details 
gathered together on these loose sheets. Great undulations of ground, clusters of 
date trees, masses of doum palms, saqqhyehs whose wheel raises and tells the little 
rosar) oi pots; cafes, okkels, camping-grounds, corners oi pyramids; the broken 
profile of the Sphinx, vases oi antique contours, doors of mosques -everything 
thai the chance of travel offers that is new and interesting to an eve that 
knows how to sec. a hand that knows how to reproduce. 

" Among the sketches in colors, we notice three which arc to be finished 
for the coming Exposition [of 1857]. 

'The fust represents the two colossi of Medinet-Abou, rising from the midst 
of the plain at the foot of a mountain which they fairly dwarf. Never has ancient 
Egypt, with its frenzy of genius for the creation of enormities, cast a more 
tremendous defiance in the face ot Time ; should the shoulders of this planet 
quiver in an earthquake, she might succeed, perhaps, by dint of repeated shakings, 
in cracking the granite epidermis of the giants she upholds, but she could 
never overturn them. [*he last cataclysm of the world will find them in the same 
Spot, corroded, exhausted, wrinkled, disfigured, but always immovably seated in 
that everlasting and impassible pose the open hands resting upon the stony 
knees the rugged heads, sculptured by thunderbolts, turned toward the infinite. 

" Behind these colossi, or rather these mountains in human form, a sterile 
ridge powdered and baked for 60OO years under a burning sun -throws 



LIFE AND WORKS OF JEAN //a>\ t./'.A 27 

.1 cades of light from its rugged steeps over its blue crevasses; the heaven 
stretches out its cloth of indigo, covered with a film ol warm, sandy mist. At the 
fool "i the stum monsters, one <>i which is the famous Memnon, whom the 
ancients heard chanting the approach ot Aurora, and who was rendered forevei 
voiceless by a reparation ordered by the Emperor Hadrian,- 111 the immense 
shadow which they cast, a caravan has halted, seeking shelter from the intense 
heat; a man. perched upon a camel, does not reach as high as the toes ol these 
prodigious statues. 

"The effect of this picture is most thrilling; the Orient is not here daubed 
with mine de Saturne tints, in which it is too often painted; it has the subdued 
light, the ardent pallor, the tones of iron al a white heal found in the real 
countries of the sun. 

"The second canvas shows a company of recruits marching in the desert. An 
Arnaut. with his gun passed behind his neck like a stick, advances at the head 
of this procession of unhappy creatures, who. with manacled wrists, coupled and 
chained together like convicts, exhibit the most frightful despair : their feet kick 
up the fine dust as they stumble alone;, their brains boiling and seething under a 
devouring, implacable sun. 

"On the shifting sand, white as pulverized sandstone, the spongy feet ot the 
camels have left lar<je impressions ; the wind has traced, as if on the water. 
capricious designs, effaced and renewed without ceasing ; it is almost as sad as 
the Russian Soldiers, — amusing themselves at word of command ! so much 
admired at the Universal Exposition. 

"The third, and perhaps the mosl beautiful sketch of all, represents Arnauis 
at prayer in a room whose walls have for their sole ornament a collection of guns ; 
several persons are standing, with their feet close together and the palms "I 
their hands turned up in an attitude of worship; on the border of a narrow 
carpet, an old man with a white beard, Standing a little to the front, recites the 
suras of the Koran, to which his companions listen with religious rapture. In the 
foreground is a row of babouches, shoes or savates, a peculiarly Oriental detail 
which the artist has had the boldness not to omit, and which does not in the leasl 
disturb the gravity of the composition. A rising smile dies away at the sij^ht of 
these types, so pure, so noble, so characteristic ; of these attitudes, so beautiful in 
their simplicity ; of this assembly, which does so well what it does ! " 

A tittinjj; continuation of these masterly pages is furnished by a fascinating 
essay on "(jcrome and his Work." from the pen of Frederic Masson. one of the 
most graceful and vivid writers of modern times. He jjives us an alluring 
glimpse of the ideal life during Gerome's first sojourn in the land of the sun. 
which we shall amplify when we describe in detail the artist's adventures during 
this trip and subsequent ones through Upper Egypt, Arabia, and Syria. 

"What the pen cannot describe |says Masson] is the loving sweetness of 
these piercing eves, the look of resolution and virility which is the predominating 



«8 /.///. m/< WORKS Of JEAA ifx\ /,/a 

characteristic ol this physiognomy; the will to undertake and press onward 
expressed by the whole personality. He would willingly have been one oi those 
indefatigable explorers, who, endlessly journeying, risk their lives to see some- 
thing new; one ol those who. to contemplate unknown stars, go to where the 
eartb gives way under their feet. To seek, to attempt, to undertake, this is what 
is necessary to their existence not to dream/ Their intellects, exacl and keen. 
demand tacts. no1 phrases. A search for the truth is Gerfime's uninterrupted 
occupation. It is this conscientiousness in research which binds together all his 
work. It is the same when he reorganizi thi sports oi ancienl Rome; when 
be represents the dramas oi modern history; when he depicts the life ol the 
Orient, and, finally, when, in the midsl of these landscapes he knows so well, he 
places somrnath.ii.il figure, such as Bonaparte, whose strange physiognomy and 
frame, almost ascetic in their meagerness, he delights to render, at the moment 
when ' his imperial star arises in the East !' 

"To resl himseli aftei immense efforts, Gerdme started for Egypt, It was 
the first ol those voyages which have exercised so keen an influence on the 
painter, and winch, leading him by the picturesque toward the modern, have 
enabled him to reproduce, in so inimitable a manner, the scenes and chat 
oi thai Orienl which is being each day more and more encroached upon l>\ 
European customs and manners, 

" Ger6me seems horn for these distant voyages to which one musl bring vigoi 
ol body and decision oi mind. Always up. always alert and indefatigable, be 
commands the caravan with an authority which no one contests. The first to 
rise m the morning, lie superintends the departure ; then, erect in his saddle, he 
keeps going through the long hours, smoking, hunting, tracing with rapid stroke 

in his sketch-1 k a movement or a silhouette. Scarcely arrived at camp. 

behold him commencing a study neither rain nor wind having the power to 
move him from his camp-stool. Then, the palette c.iieiulh « iped and the brushes 
thoroughly cleaned, what a delightful companion at the table under the tent: 
Whal animation, what good-humored appreciation of the nonsense oi the 
younger ones ; what frank gayety and willing remembrance oi former jesting. 
And through this Gallic humor, winch has its flavoi ol the soil, this wit peculiar 
io the cotnte where he was born, how one perceives the man oi high intellectual 
culture, who has read much, and who knows how to read ' Who. lor ins, intimate 
friend and souls companion, has chosen that other joyous spirit, the immortal 
author oi "La Cigue " and the "Effrontes" EmileAugier! 

" It was no play to visit Egypt in [856. It is true thai one did not then meet 
those hordes oi tourists who spoil the landscape and disfigure the monu- 
ments' Ancient Egypt was still iisell after the convention of Alexandria; 
I old soldiers of the empire alone represented the European element. 
Reform had not vet got the better oi old manners nor oi ancient customs. The 
fellah, ill the rigidity of his attitudes, preserved the hieratic aspect of statues ol 

basalt. The Nile, where si lamboats wen unknown, was enlivened by whole 

nations of birds so tame that they were scarcely disturbed by the slow 

oi the light boats (cangues). The river lull ol fish, the hanks stocked 



UFl l.\n WORKS Of II ■ l.\ l&ON G&RdMl ;, i 

with game, perpetually changing scenery, brightened by the vivid coloring of the 
inhabitants, over all a delicious blue sky. and four gay companions, loving with 
.in equal love painting, hunting, and fishing what a joyous existence ! And bow 
easy to picture Gerdme living thus for lour months, going by easy stages from 
Damietta to Philas. Then coming hack to Cairo and installing himself in a 
palace, cordially placed at the disposition ot the travelers by that glorious 
Soliman Pacha whose incredible romance has lately been described in a charm- 
ing volume. There were tour months more of Study and labor, from which 
resulted those pictures that, in the work of Ceroinc, best reproduce the vivid 
impressions of the things lie has seen." 

Another great critic ami traveler, one of the most eminent of French Orient- 
alists, the distinguished Maximc Du Camp, writes ot these Oriental silhouettes: 

"just as Meissonier is able to portray an entire epoch in one figure, so M. 
Gerflme is expert in particularizing a certain race in a single person, especiall} in 
miniature, for his painting, which is almost too delicate tor a large composition, 
becomes more exact and elaborate in proportion as his canvas is limited. He. 
himself, an intrepid traveler, of a keen, vigorous temperament ; an impression- 
able character ; a penetrating intellect ; circumspect, delicate, and quick to seize 
points on the wing — has the air of a palikare, and one is quite surprised that he 
does not wear the Greek Cap and fustanelle. No one has gone farther than he m 
bis observation of the appearance, the manners, and customs of the Egyptians of 
Cairo, the Jews of Palestine, the Russians ot the Crimea, and the modern Creeks. 
He has studied them with a rare acuteness and conscientiousness, and while 
examining into the smallest details, he lias not failed to grasp the essential 
features of the Oriental races. 

" One can perhaps object that M. Ceromc's touch is a little dry. and his color- 
ing often too sharp; hut when Time shall have laid its powerful patine on his 
canvases, they will be harmonized into soft and deep tones. And what is more. 
they will have the very appreciable advantage of not losing in <rrowin^ old, for 
they are finished in the highest possible degree." 

We may here pause to consider a point which has been much harped on by a 
certain class of critics, who. for the most part, are theoretically and practically 
ignorant of the A H C of the art they attempt to criticise, and distinguish 
themselves only by a blind adhesion to certain doctrines promulgated by a certain 
would-be school of art. These oracles affect to deny Cicronie the title ol great 
artist, OH the score that he is not what they understand as a "colorist." 

We are not desirous of entering into a controversy on this point. " Chacun a 
son goiit," says the old proverb, and. as ('■erbme very quietly remarked in his early 

youth, " the public will be the judge." 

Real art-lovers have sufficiently shown their appreciation by securing his 

masterpieces often while still mere sketches on the easel, and disputing eagerly 



I II I l\l< WORKS .'/ // M I l.o\ G&ROMI 

the possession of those which have several times changed hands al public sale. 
Time, thai supreme judge, has proven the intrinsic and ever-increasing value oi 
his art, based on true and noble methods. We cannol refrain, however, from 
quoting one or two authorities, whose lucid and trenchanl opinions on this vexed 
question of "What constitutesa great a.rtis\ 'are well worth our attention. Says 
Bergerat, in the able treatise before cited : 



"It the name id painter, and the reputation of beingagood painter, is to be 
appropriated only by workers in color, and it a pumpkin well represented ought, 
in public estimation, to equal in value the School oi Athens, ol Raphael, we 

must renounce serious consideration of 
this manifestation of human genius, and 
criticism inevitably becomes sterile and 
objectless. To be sure, naturalism is .1 
tine achievement of modern intelligence, 

and I am one of the first to glorify the 
gOOd resulting therefrom , bill it i^ not, 

and never will be, in art. anything save 
the adjective power ol talent, oi which the 
fundamental power is the idea. 

" Now, the wind ' idea' comprises also 
its culture, and the 
culture o! the idea 
is science, or what is 
' — '^*«l otherwise known as 

■■ acquirements. I be- 

lieve no more in the 
ignorance of genius 
than I do in the 
inconscienci ol beauty. The gifl is nothing if it ends only in promises and 
hopes, tor Nature rebels against inaction oi forces, and the most fertile 
ground grows fallow and sterile, even in the lull sunlight, if it is not plowed 
ii]) and sown. II any one declines to admil that the Operation of the intelli- 
gence by which a man succeeds m conceiving .md realizing a grand ethnographic 
scene, such, tor example, as the /'>>//> i- ol a superior intellectual 

order to thai which impels M. Yollon to choose a motif from Still life, one 
mighl as well declare that a beediive, the construction of which is admirable, 
is as admirable as St. Peter's at Rome. As well give instinct the precedence 
over intelligence ; as well proclaim the public inutility of those conservatories 
ol tin beautiful called libraries and museums. 

"Further, those who are endowed with a sensibility of the retina, as 

cceptional as it is unconscious, act mosl thoughtlessly in endeavoring to 

confine the art of painting to the reproduction of the physical phenomena ot 

lights and colors. Their presumptuous theories have produced impressionism 




LIFE AND WORKS Oh fEAN LEON GERdAfE ^ 

and tachism(oj blotching). Musi we then conclude thai man, nude or clothed 
in brilliant stuffs, is, in reality, onl) a dab <>i color, whose form confounds itself 
with the atmosphere ? Whal becomes then of the expressive power of painting? 

To what sense does its eloquence appeal, and in what terms does this language, 
stripped ot its alphabet and its style, speak to the human intelligence? Gerdme 
must have asked himself all this, when the critics have adjudged him guilty ol a 
Crime in not being specially born what they are pleased to style a colorist. He 
must have thought that the art he practiced must be the lowest of all the arts, if 
one is not to include the qualities ol observation, picturesque design, and compo- 
sition in making a picture. Here, indeed, lies his natural superiority: not a 
painter of the present age can compose a picture as well as he -the gri 
among them not excepted. GerOme has the sentiment oi unit) and order ; with 
him tin' scene is always complete and complete^ treated each item is placed 
on its own plane of interest and co-operates proportionately to the general effect 
of tin so ne to which it contributes. 

A -real and rare quality, with which poets are generally more liberal^ 
endowed than painters, and which, under the name of gout (an expression inade- 
quately rendered in English by the word taste), remains the dominant quality of 
the Latin race. Education does not suffice to give it. whatever one may think, and 
I do not see wherein it is so common and inferior to the gifl of color ' We must 
take care not to go astray, nor to lead the public astray , ■> bit ot good painting is 
not necessarily a picture ; one has not made a poem because one bas written a 
fragment. Those who rebel the most against the teaching of the £cole are 
perhaps not capable of treating intelligently a single one ot I be subjects submitted 
to lis artists in the competitive examination. Now, it seems to me thai to be 
incapable of a thing proves one to be infenoi to those who an capable of it. 

Perhaps there exists a tachiste who has conceived in the depths of his soul a com- 
position superior to the Po llice I erso, but this tachiste has not yet revealed himself, 
"i'is a hard task to make a picture, as it is a difficult affair to make a book ' 
This is only too true, Heroine has signed a vast number of canvases which 
merit the name of picture a title formerly imposing, and which was not lavished, 
as it is to-day, on the merest daubs of venturesome colorists ' 

'l"he correctness of Bergerat's analysis and judgment must be acknowledged 
by all thoughtful students and practical artists. The same ideas are ably set forth 
m a volumi devoted to "Art ami \ilisls" b\ the well-known painter and critic. 

Charles Timbal. In a charming preface to this series ol essays, written by the 
Vicomte Henri Delaborde, perpetual secretary o1 the Vcademyoi Fine Arts al 
Paris, we find Timbal described as a "painter familiarized with all the secrets 
ol practical art. and a connoisseur in the best sense ot the term." 
In his study on (icronie, Timbal says: 

" It is the custom to plat e each artist in a camp where he will be, according to 
his valor or to chance, the standard-bearer or a simple soldier. Some, whether 



34 //// M/< WORKS (>/■ li M 1 1<>\ i.i/:, nu 

they desire or resist, will belong to a group of colorists others will be ranged 
among the draughtsmen. To speak truly, Gerdme cannol be confined to >.-ii her 
ui these classifications; without being one oi those who, by temperamenl and 
withoul effort, multiplj the vibrations, varieties, and harmonies oi tones, he sees 
things as they are, and shows himseli a colorisl in his own manner; and his brush, 
in rendering a modified reflection oi the exterior brilliancy of things, does not in 
the leasl alter the rigorous reality. Lei one examine withoul prejudice any one ol 
his small canvases : those where he makes the waves to shimmer in the twilight, 
or this other, flooded l>\ the midda} sun, a street in Cairo in the shadow oi its 
high walls, or the circus, sheltered l>\ the purple velarium, the torso oi Cleopatra 
or the Almee, and the gladiatoi in the arena, wiping of] his bloody sweat ; the 
professional man, remembering his own studies, will readily recognize the truth 
oi these reproductions, and also the teachings oi nature and of light. 

Although Gerdme has to-daj attained the momenl oi life in which the artist 
to have nothing to demand oi the gods save to preserve intact the gifts hi 

has received from them, he has not passed the age oi progress Those 

who have examined, with clear perceptions, the later works he has produced, 
have observed withoul difficulty the broadening oi his manner the firmness 
oi his touch from the first, and the new richness of his fidte. The artist marches 
abreast oi the taste oi to-day, bul in the measure oi his personal taste. The 
inventor needed not to show himself more ingenious; the painter has become 
more of a painter ! . . . . Ilow man} masterpieces, applauded yesterday for their 
powerful effects, their novelty, and the richness oi their contrasts, have b 

gloom] canvases, from winch all the beauty has disappeared owing to 
the inexperience of the artists. The pictures oi Gerdme, painted with a discreet 
and prudent hand, have little to fear from the effects oi time, and they will 
bl} present themselves to the judgment of the future in all the freshness 
oi their original creation, when of rival works there will remain but a blackened 
image, exhausted and compromising." 

Hut Gerdme is as little disturbed by the clamor of the hostile camps of which 

Timlial speaks, as he is unspoiled by the adniiiat ion oi zealous followers. We 
have in our possession a letter from his intimate friend, the late lamented Emile 
Augier, to his other beloved companion. Alfred AragO, the mere mention ol 
whose names calls up recollection-, ol talents which are the pride and |o\ not only 

ol the in 1 1 in, 1 and choice circle ol which they w ere the center, and lo which 

is still fortunately spared, hut ol the glorious company oi illustrious artists and 
litterateurs who congregate in that modern center of art life Paris. 

In this letter, sparkling with wit and caustic observation, we find the follow- 
ing graphic note on Gerdme, and his relation to /</ critique; 

\ special characteristic of Gerdme [says Augier] is his profound indiffer- 
ence to the railings id' the journals. He pursues a very good system to avoid 
I.L-ino irritated by them he does not read them ' And if he sees a friend wax 



LIFE I YD WORKS OF JEAN LEON GERdME, 35 

furious under harsh criticism, he tranquillizes him by thai celebrated mot of an 
amiable actress: ' li gives them so much pleasure and M costs me so little!'" 

We must ni)i conclude, however, thai the artisl considers himself beyond 
criticism ; on the contrary, no one has more frankly or freely desired the opinions 
ol his fellow-workers, few of whom have approximated the unsparing severity 
we find in his self-criticism, among the autobiographical notes which we shall 
transcribe in full, Of the honesl and impartial judgmenl displayed in these 
simple yet eloquent records of his life, Bergeral writes: 

'• Do you know many artists endowed nol only with enough mind and 

character, bul sufficient talenl to write <>i themselves hues such as these? For 

my pari I know nothing more noble than this model confession, which has 
deeply moved me and inspired me with undying respeei for the Master." 

This spirit oi stricl sell criticism, amounting almosl to austerity, was a 

marked trait, even in early youth, as evinced by an episode of his firsl year 111 
Rome. He was painting, in the Forum, that superb landscape which stretches 

awaj from the Capitol, beyond the nuns oi the Coliseum, .across the Campagna 
to the loot oi the distanl mountains, The study was finished in an incredibly 
short space ol lime, and in a manner that evoked unanimous praise from his 
master and fellow-students, lint Ge'rflme, distrusting so easj a triumph, and 
saying to himself. "What has been done so quickly cannot be worth much!" 
deliberately scraped the day's labor from the canvas and repainted the scene 
with greater care. 

This little anecdote reveals the quality of the artist, who. while professional 
critics are occupied with their discussions as to the respective merits of the 
various methods oi seeing and reflecting nature, steadily pursues his way toward 

his ideal ; his mind wholly concentrated upon his work, his motto, like thai oi 

Apelles, being Nulla dies sine linea, he labors on tranquilly, conscientiously, and 
confidently, yearl) adding to a lengthy lisl oi masterpieces, which betray new 
depths and beauties of conception and execution, and imparl additional luster to 
an already imperishable tame. 

As lone, ago as [860, DcTanouarn wrote 

" What t'lcrdme has achieved up to the present moment is hut the preface of 

a beautiful book. We await the volume, but if, contrary to all expectation, it 
does not come, the preface itself will count as a book'" 

What would he think could he reunite and contemplate the achievements ol 
more than forty years of anient, unceasing toil ' How choose among the gems in 
this dazzling riviereoi jewels collected from the most precious mines of the old 

World ! Let us yield ourselves to the sway of this potent magician, who trans- 



36 /.//■/ AND WORKS 0/ // M llo\ G&RdML 

ports us by a wave of his powerful hand from idyllic Greece to the brilliant courts 
ol France; from the crowded Coliseum ol Ancient Rome to the solitude and 
desolation oi the Arabian desert, and back to the glowing tulip gardens ol 

Holland; from sunny Spain, where everyday is holiday, and a skillful toreador 
i ai i [aimed by a joyous populace " King oi the feast," to the melancholy hanks 
ol I he Danube, where, under the crushing despotism of Russia, even "recreation 
in camp" is rigidl} enforced, and the sting ol the knout compels the son- thai is 
often strangled b) asob; from the thronged and picturesque streets of Cain, to 
the isolated fastnesses oi the Convenl ol Sinai, with a glimpse ol the awful 
dy of the Hill oi Cah ary I 

tie unites us to walk with Dante on lb, hanks id the Arno, or watch Rem- 
brandt bending over his etching plate; to listen with cynical Voltaire to the royal 
llulc-plavcr ol Sans Souci, 01 enjoy the discomliture of cardinal ami courtier al 
the break last table, when- the playwright is the equal of the king; to follow 
Bramanl and young Raphael into the Sistine Chapel, whither they have stolen to 
see the immortal frescoes in the absence ol the master, or to join Diogenes in his 
search lor an honest man ! 

Now he guides us into the wilderness, and shows us the encampment ol the 
French Legions in the desert. The cloudless blue of the sky, scintillating with 
heat, is softened toward the horizon by smokj vapors, through which mountains 
lintly outlined. Over the sandy plains masses ol troops march and counter- 
march, so far away that clash of saber and blare oi trumpet do not disturb the 
profound silence that envelops, as with a mantle, the majestic figure which 
dominates the scene Preserving, in spite ol mutilation, a marvelous expression 
of grandeur and repose, the Sphinx rears its massive head, and regards, with a 
calmness horn of absolute knowledge, the vain struggles ol a pygmy world. The 
lcs-cr Sphinx, on horseback, himself an incarnation ol will and force, mutely 
demands oi the Oracle the secret oi his future. In vain The steady gaze 
passes over even his head: on on doubtless beholding the snowy steppes ol 
Russia, reddened with blood and the light of conflagration ; the wounded eagle, 
trailing his broken wings over the field of Waterloo : a lonely rock, at whose base 
the sea makes incessant moan ! There is no warning, no si^n ' Kismet ! 

Again, the wilderness the master loves so well. How like and yet how 
unlike' Here is the low-lying C0as1 ol Africa, with drifts of finest sand blown 
by the breath ol the khamsinn into fantastic mounds, from which peep a tew 
scorched and scanty tufts of herbage and the ragged edges of brown, barren rocks. 
Motionless, as it hewn from the rock on which he sits, a taw n\ --mancd monarch 
of the desert, with proud, unflinching gaze, steadily regards the dazzling splendor 
ol the setting sun. which is sinking slowly to the horizon, its flaming tints mir- 
rored in the glassy surface Ol the Mediterranean What weird and potent charm 



CEDIPUS 

BONAPARTE BEFORE THE SPHINX 

188G 



LIFE AND WORKS o/ JEAN LEON GERdMl 37 

is here! What stillness, solitude, vastness ! And in the majestic figure oi the 
royal beast what condensed life and power ! Weare forcibly reminded oi a brief 
l)ui graphic description of the artisl himself, Iron, an article by M. de Belina, 
which appeared lately in a Paris Art publication. 

"A superb bead with mane tossed back, a lion who paints other lions and 
one scarcely knows which has the prouder glance, the painter or his model!" 

What true lovei oi arl does nol wish to know more oi the artist than can be 
divined even from creations so eloquenl as these' Who would not eagerly seize 












the opportunity to stand face to face with so rare a personality and grasp the hand 
whose touch is more potent than that of Midas' Thanks to a generosity niih to 
be met with in truly great natures, the humblest student is always sure of a 
court eons welcome to the master's ateliers. \ genuine love foi art is the " < (pi n ! 

Sesame." before which the lica\ \ oaken doors that bar the entrance to thc/V/A- 

<<>(//</-. .it his spacious hotel on the Boulevard de Clichy swing back, revealing a 
cool. Bagged court, with a background of green ivy, which clambers luxuriantly 
over the hi<^h wall at the bottom of the yard. Several line hunting-dogs lie in the 
kennels, and spirited horses neigh and Stamp in the adjacent stables, for tin,. me is 
a passionate lover Oi animals, an accomplished horseman and ardent sportsman, 
who fears neither wind nor weather. " llcau cavalier, chasseur adroit," says 
Claretie of him. 



,v s //// IM> WORKS <>! II M L&OA i.I.Ni'MI 

Glass doors, hung with soft Persian stuffs, lead into the antechamber on the 
rez-de-chaussie, which is guarded by a bronze horse and cavalier, one oi th< i ah 
works "i I remiet, the greal sculptor, 

The sunlight filters through a stained-glass window and falls with kaleido- 
scopic effeel on Minon, a large Persian cat, who has often served as model to her 
master, and who, rousing from her siesta on a long, enameled casket, which con- 
tains a costly narghileh, la/.ilv opens one eye and Minks an amiable /ion/our. 
Rare curios from foreign lands are scattered here, as throughout the whole man- 
sion, with lavish hand, but the attention is instantly caught and fixed by an 
exquisite figure in the whitesl oi Carrara marble. It is his wonderful Omphale, 
which, in the Salon of 1887, was the center of attraction in the garden oi the 
Palais de 1' Industrie. 

Pure, pensive, passionate the perfection oi form and expression— she leans, 
m the attitude oi the Farnese Hercules, upon the club oi thai vanquished hero, 
« ho has succumbed to the power oi the tiny God oi Lo\ e almost hidden under the 
folds oi the 1. 1 11 ions 1 ion skm On the lips oi the beautiful Queen oi Lydia rests 
an expression oi mingled triumph and longing, as il she were not quite sure of 
her power to retain her captive lover. 

Near the windows thai ironi on the Boulevard are Gerflme's two superb grey- 
hounds, modeled in red claj bj himself, in affectionate remembrance of his faith- 
ful companions now gone to the happy hunting-grounds." They also frequently 
posed, and are to be found in several well-known pictures, among others, in The 
Sentinels of the Camp and ///, Return Iron: the t hase, 

llatneiton sa\s ; I would rather have a leash ot hounds by Gerome than by 
am other painter 1 know ." 

A massive eobra. with red. shining scales, coils itself into the newel-posl 
oi the heavy balustrade which guards the marble staircase. A Salve in blue 
faience is sunk in the carved woodwork, and the walls oi polished marble 
are covered with priceless Japanese bronzes, masks, and plaques, up to the 
fourth Story, which is reserved l>\ Gerflme tor his studios and private 
apartments. 

Every footfall is deadened by the thick Turkish carpet, anil the soft cooing oi 

.1 dove, that is nestling in the v ines which shelter the hall -open window on the top 

landing, seems only to accentuate the stillness in the large atelier, the dooi oi 
which usually stands ajai 

Following hard on the whir of the electric hell eomes a cheery " Unties .' in 
.1 voict which, once heard, is never forgotten. The master stands before an easel, 
looking inquiringly toward the door; but palette and brushes are instantly laid 
aside as he recognizes old friends and advances with both hands cordially 
extended. The salutation is brief, hut the intonation dispels at once all fi 



LIFE I ND WORKS <>/■// I \ //<M t,f!, 39 

intrusion, and courteously waved to a Beal on the wide divan, ample opportunity 
is afforded to study h grand peintre a1 home. 

An oval face, crowned with a prolusion oi tine, shown- hair, brushed well back 
and up from the noble forehead ; heavy, black eyebrows, overshadowing deep-sel 
brown eyes, whose glance, sometimes clear and piercing, searches the soul, or half 
veiled by long lashes warm, dreamy, mysterious seems to behold things ot 
bi tuty far beyond all common powers oi vision, An aquiline nose, with nostrils 
slightly curved and dilated, giving him a strikingly valiant air, A sweeping mus- 
tache, now jusl touched with gray, partly conceals the melancholy droop oi thin 
vet ruddy lips, whose almost feminine sensitiveness is relieved by the lirmness ol 
the 1 bin and the superb, antique contour ot throal and neck, at once strong and 
delii, ite. This admirable head well surmounts an erect military figure, whose 
everv movement, however, betrays a grace doubtless inherent in this temperament 

<ln Midi, the mother ot Gerdme having been a thoroughly Spanish type. For 
although the province which proudly claims the master as its own has been part 
and parcel ot France since the time ol l.oms Quatorze, it was originally settled by 
the Spaniards and remained lor a Ion;; time under their dominion. 

As we chat, .1 charming model, artistically draped in Oriental robes, comes 

from the inner atelier where she has been posing, and comfortably bestows herself 
in a great armchair, one snowy loot, hall thrust into a ha ho in In- ol red morocco. 
swinging carelessly to and fro. Unmindful ol our undisguised admiration, she 
falls to examining her taper finger nails, now and then glancing shyly at the 
clock, as il wishing us away. Finally, weary of following the conversation, she 
drop-- into .1 lighl slumber. sinilnvj, as she dreams, ami disclosing a double row ol 
pearl) teeth. 

Walking up and down his spacious ateliers, where he has assembled the 
11, h. ,1 and rarest accessories ol his me'tier, the master discourses ol his art with an 
eloquence and ardor which reveal the source oi the magic power he exercises 
all who come in contact with him. We listen, at once charmed and 
tantalized, tor it is well-nigh as impossible to remember this impromptu lecture, 
ibis marvel of criticism, comparison, and instruction, as it would be to reproduce 
the energetic, Sparkling, vivid manner oi delivery. 

" You permit me to smoke?" 

Answering our hasty gesture of assent with a smile, he proceeds to till his pipe, 
and, lighting a match, resumes his walk and his talk, till his fingers are tunned. 
With a good-humored "Pestel" he lights another, which ea>es the way of the 
preceding one, this time absolutely unheeded, so profoundly is the orator lost in 
In-, argument. We wait tor a pause and then, softly, so as not to disturb his 
tram ol thought : 

•• But you do not smoke. Monsieur i " 



40 LIFE AND WORKS 01 Jl tA LEOA GERdMl 

"Ah, no! thai is true! It is a halm ! I have always smoked more matches 
i nan tobcu .<>.'" 

The pipe still nnlighted, be lakes up his discourse in a differenl vein, keenly 
satirical but always good-natured, in which one detects nol only the man of the 
world but the philosopher and sage. An acute sense of humor produces often the 
mosl contagious gayety, but there is always a strong undercurrent oi melan- 
choly, profound, even somber; intensified in later years l>v the loss of many 
oi his dearest friends, among others EmiL Augier, and the painters Gustave 
Boulanger and Alexandre Protais, to whom he was deeply attached. A most 
indefatigable worker, and sought after in society as few nun ol his epoch have 
been, Gerome siill always finds time for Ins friends, especially such as are sick 
and suffering, Protais often spoke oi his devotion as something unequaled, and 
surprising in a man who had innumerable claims on Ins attention and who has 
sometimes been mistakenly judged to be cold, reserved, and exclusive. In truth. 
for months before the death ol Protais, Gerome, though himself weakened by 
illness, made a daily visil in all kinds ol weather, before nine o'clock in the 
morning, to the quid apartment where the great military painter was closely 
confined 1>\ an incurable and distressing malady oi the heart cheering the 
invalid by his sympathy, and diverting him by his ever ready and genial wit. 
During several ol these briel morning calls he .succeeded in sketching the 
patient sufferer, and has thus preserved to the world a striking likeness ol the 
great artist, whose character was ideal in its nobility, integrity, and unflinching 
self-sacrifice. t»i his death, which occurred in February, 
"It lias affected me more deeply than I dare avow even to in- 

As is his wont, he seeks solace Irom this and other irremediable sorrows in 
unceasing application to his work, putting into it all the force oi the emotions 
thai are driven hack upon themselves by an irresistible destiny. 

That time has not needed lo alter, hut only added new depth and intensit] to 
his noble nature, may he seen from the following pencil-sketch taken in the year 

[860 : 

•• It suffices [says de Tanouam] merely to glance at the portrait of Gerdme, 
such as he is represented to-day, to form a sufficiently exact idea ol the character 
of this artist. It is an energetic and vigorous nature, endowed with a marvelous 
will-power and an indefatigable activity. Gerdme is improvisation and action 
incarnate. He conceives and executes quickly ; he writes and walks quickly ; he 
eals quickly, and his comrades in the atelier declare that he sleeps quickly ! Here 
is no wastefulness, no lounging, no indulgence nor compromise with idli 

tds abreasl several works at a time, without mingling or confounding 
anything, like the young Morphy, who plays eight games ol chess at a time 
without making an error. To rest himself, Gerome only changes occupation, 
passing from one work to the other 




i ii i iuii ah 



/..'// IM< WORKS 0/ II -i \ iio\ ,,i:i;o\n 43 

"He is nol m the habit, however, oi ignoring those laws ol etiquette 01 
politeness, from the observance oi which the mosl exacting society very willingly 
exempts artists and poets; he never forgets to return .1 visit nor to reply to a 
letter, bul his painting loses nothing in consequence. He has traveled much, and 
ii has nol prevented him from producing much. In a word, il would seem thai for 
him the hours multiply and lengthen themselves, while for others they vanish, 
while the} are occupied in reflecting how they will employ them/ .... 

Ihs atelier is situated in Notre Dame des Champs, in a son oi aristocratii 
hive where other painters have lodged themselves. Everything reveals the 
spiril oi ordei and regularity oi the master. One observes a noble and severe 
simplicity . some bits oi armor, some curiosities broughl back from Ins travels 
bul few pictures yel no ornament foreign to art. It is here that G6rdme works. 
while chatting with his visitors, having Ins model posed a1 .1 great distance, foi he 
is extraordinaril} far-sighted. I lis conversation is animated, inspiring, spirituelle, 

and gay. He banters g l-naturedly without ever wounding. \s he is ver} 

learned, he touches with easi ill topics and seems a stranger to none; he 
captivates the attention withoul difficulty and retains it without an effort 

" By the superiority of his mind and the penetrating firmness oi his character, 

1 11 -mine exercises a greal lilllnenee over the persons who live near to him. lie 

becomes naturall} a center, around which less powerful individualities group 
themselves. He will be soonei 01 later, the head oi a school, il in the present 

state ol art sneh a thing is still possible 

"In his college days he was tin- organizer and the soul of all the sports. 
While with Paul Delaroche, when all the pupils agreed to work together in tin 
evenings Gerome's little chamber was always chosen as the place oi reunion. In 
1848, when the pupils oi the Ecole des Beaux-Arts had to elect .1 captain 0! the 
-tali, ih, 11 choice tell on tieiome, who acquitted himseli oi tin- duties confided to 
him in tine military fashion ; lor he delights, and is very skillful, in all bodih 
exercises, above all in hunting. Hi nevei tails to paj a yearl} visit to his 
and 10 devote himseli to his favorite sport with the activity and enjoy- 
ment characteristic of him t'.cromc's reception ol any one, although at 

Inst a trifle reserved, is oi -^ exquisite kindness; Ins manners are admirably 
distinguished, ami he would be a model oi a perfeel gentleman tor Englishmen. 
His wit is sometimes a little sharp, hut Ins comrades lioasl of his kindness and 
generosity, and his readiness lor every servici he can possibly render, whether 
obej ing the instincts of his heart or following the inspirations oi a superior mind, 
which would deem iiselt wanting m sell-respect in not acting on ever} occasion 
with absolute nobility. 

"Such is the matt whose character we have sketched He is WOrthj as,, ik 

oi the <//-//■,/. there does not exist here one oi those distressing contrasts 
which arc the jo} and triumph oi vulgar and vicious mediocrity." 

This of the man ol thirty -six I Twenty-four years later. Claretie writes 

"t'.erome is sixtv years old' One can scarcely believe thai he has passed 
forty.' He still retains In- intrepid look ol an Arnaut. Physically and morally 



1 1 



///■/■ l\/> WORKS Of // l\ LBOA GERdMt 



he is uprighl and inflexible a fascinating type of an artist, chivalric and reso- 
lute G6r6me remains at sixty what he was at thirty-six; as young, as 
vigorous, as active, as responsive, vivid, and sympathetic. A charming conver- 
sationalist, gay, pensive also underneath his exquisite humor, respectful oi his 
art, frank and loyal, adored by his pupils, a professor who teaches the young tin- 
rare and oft-neglected virtues simplicity, study, and unre- 
mitting labor, In a word, a noble example oi a master-painter 
oi the nineteenth century the son! of an artist with the 
constitution oi a soldier; a heart oi gold in a body of iron'' 

The same precious testimony is borne by Masson, whom 
we have before < ited, I le says : 

"G6rome's work, already immense, and which his robust 
health will permit him to augment tor a long time, very 
diverse in its expression, i- one, in its sincerity, its continual 
research, its passion lor the truth. This preoccupation 
is evident in all his representations of antique li 
well as in the subjects drawn from the Orient One oi 
the leu defenders to-day oi high art. he has exercised 
over modern painting a grand influence. An entire 
school has sprung from his exquisite and spiritual 
pictures; an entirely distinct one. without avowing it. 
from his greater compositions. G6r6me lias had in 
our time imitators without number, but he has I 
still greater number of pupils, oi everj shade of opinion 
and artistic tendency, in whom he has inculcated his 
passion for nature and lor truth. 

At the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, by the liberality ot 
his mind, the rectitude of his judgment, and the open- 
ness and breadth oi his comprehension, he has rapidh 
become the besi helmed, the most ardently followed, of all the masters. None 
better than he. with his infinite goodness and delicacy, knows how to estimate 
a work, to discover its qualities; in short, to evolve an artist. None performs 
lii-- duties with more ot equity and conscientiousness; none has fewer prejudices 

Or decisions made beforehand; none i> better Capablf ot doing justice to 

Ins adversaries. The master quality oi I,, mi, i is everywhere and always. 
sincerity. " 




i 



< 



\\ e can well believe that the loving patience and infinite tact exercised by 
this honored teacher and head oi the greatesi School oi Art of modern time-., is 
deepened b\ his ever-preseni remembrance of the time when he. also, was a 
student, struggling with the poverty, ill-health, and disappointment which are 
often the portion oi those who consecrate themselves to the service oi that most 
exacting, but most glorious mistress — Art! 



LIFE l\/> WORKS Ol // l\ ii\o\ GEROAfI 



45 



Hence i1 is with peculiar interesl thai we turn hack to the beginning ol this 
remarkable career and trace, step by step, the steady advance of the "infanl 
prodigy oi Vesoul." 

JuK-s Claretie, whose knowledge of men and things is as profound as his 
writing oi them is inc parable, justly observes : 

"That which interests us above all, in the life ol illustrious men, is their 
origin, their debut, the first blossoming ol then talent. When an artist has 
d himscli with glory, one writes his biography with the mere titles oi his 
works." 

We are fortunate, therefore, in hem- able to receive our impressions oi 
Gerome's earlie I artistic life from himself. We shall, in translating his notes, 
endeavor to retain, to as great a degree as possible, the picturesque simplicity 
ol this brief but precious autobiography, of which Gerdme wril 

" I send you the notes which I promised you, but tear you will not find them 
sting My life has been, above all, a life ol work ol incessanl laboi eon 
sequently monotonous for the public! 1 have had hut little to do with the 
affairs of my time, except in regard to all that pertains to the Fine Arts. It i> 
rather a collection ol dates, jotted down years ago, than biographical information 
that I send you. lias it any value?" 

In this simple, unaffected, candid record, where years ol patient study and 
toil, physical privation and suffering, disappointment, deteal. and final triumph 
are disposed oi in a single line, we tind the same indomitable spirit ol persever- 
ance to which the master owes his present high position, the ardent aspiration 
which still impels him onward and upward, the courage, conscientiousness, 
integrity, and modesty which pervadl bis enure lite and work. Mark, too, the 
sprightly humor with which he recalls his natal day. the nth of May. 1824: 

•• To prevent seven cities from disputing in the future the honor of my birth- 
place, I certify that I first saw the light oi day in Vesoul, a little, old Spanish citj 
No miracle took place on the day of my birth, which is quite surprising! 'The 
lightning did not even Bash in a clear sky! The century was then twentj foui 
old. Rome and Sparta had been discarded like tattered and bloodstained 
garments, and tin- French people reposed, like a bird, on the elder branch, which, 
six years later, was to break under it. The Son of Saint Louis was already 
tin- those famous ordonnances, which were to have so legitimate a 
success. 

11 I wa8 horn ol parents without fortune, living by their labor. My lather was 

a goldsmith. He gave me the regulai collegiate education much Latin and 
considerable Greek, hut no modern languages, which 1 have always regretted 

for the little Italian I acquired later has been of enormous service to me in my 
travels At the age oi sixteen I was Bacheloi oi Letters. I had had some 



I" ////• AND WORKS OF I /■ I \ L&OA G&RdMl 

success in the drawing-class, and my father, who wenl to Paris every yeai on 
business, brought me, as a reward, a box of oil-colors and a picture bv Decamps, 
which I copied fairly well; to the greal satisfaction, at least, of the persons 
who surrounded me, who, lei us confess, were entirely ignoranl <>l artistu 
matters ' " 

Gerflme has alluded to the downfall of Charles X.. whose reactionar} policy 
eventuall) provoked the revolution oi July, and finally culminated in his 
dethronement. His briel reign was conspicuous not only for political agitation, 
I'm for the open revolt in arl circles oi the romanticists against the iron tradi- 
tions oi the then dominanl classicists. A protracted and bitter struggle between 
the old and new methods resulted in the evolution ol the classic-romantic school. 
oi which one oi the mosl noted leaders was Hippolyte (Paul) Delaroche, destined 
to become the teacher and intimate friend oi the young Gerfime, who, at the 
age oi ten years, was alread] making portraits oi Ins comrades and neighbors 
whose naive and unqualified admiration fortunately did not awaken his vanity 
nor render him less attentive to the instruction oi his firsl professor oi drawing 
a pupil ol David and an artist oi considerable talent. 

" B) a bapp3 fortune," says Ger6me, in his notes, "a childhood friend oi 
Monsieur Paul Delaroche had just settled in my native city, He induced my 
lather to send me to Paris, where I finally arrived with a letter oi introduction to 

my future teacher I Delaroche). Like a sensible and prudent man. my i 

allowed me to begin my studies in painting, thinking that it his expectations 
were not realized, I was still young enough to embrace another profession." 

"The trade <>t a goldsmith," remarks the painter Timbal, "is. even in the 
provinces, closely allied to art. Thence, no doubt, a more willing indulgence oi 
the venturesome inclinations of the budding artist an indulgence not without 
merit ; tor. at this time, painters sold their pictures with difficulty, it they 

led in Selling them at all. and a vocation lor art not unreasonably alarmed 

prudent parents. Let us avow to the praise of the father oi Ger&me, that he was 
the firsl to give pledges to the unknown. In presenting a box ol colors to the 
head scholar in the drawing-class at the College ol Vesoul, he was setting tire to 
powdei ' " 

"I entered then the atelier of Delaroche." continues (ierome. "where I 

remained during three years. Rather mediocre Btudies shattered health, 
nervous system greatly irritated ; but. in spite oi all. I made efforts and worked 

my best. My student companions, whom 1 scarcely ever left, were Danurv. 
l'ieou. and Goberl later on. Ilamon also. The first promised well gained the 

Prt 1 de Rome while very young, and sent back two very remarkable nude figures; 
but he was attacked 1>\ a mortal illness that swept him away in the prime ol life. 
The second, with an admirable intellectual and physical organization, a Raphael- 



/.//•/■ AND WORK!, Ol // i.\ i f;o \ G&RdMl 47 

esque temperament, and a truh extraordinary facility ol invention and execution, 
drowned himself, so to speak, in a bath of alcohol ; he is now but the shadow 
of his former self. The two others have fulfilled the promise oi their youth." 
Commenting on this period, Timbal says: 

"The atelier ol Paul Delaroche al thai time held the firsl place among the 
schools of instruction. The state patronized none. The master, in all thi 
oi his renown, exercised over his pupils an authority which admitted "I no dis- 
cussion. Hut Cicromc had already seriousl} reflected, and he accepted the yoke 
without hesitation. Moreover, more than one affinity, and, despite difference in 
age. a certain similarity of character, quickly established a sympath} between 
him and his master. Delaroche treated with marked attention this young man 
with the intelligent, resolute lace, this indefatigable and soon skilled worket 
There was some merit in distinguishing one's sell m this great battalion 
among which shone Damery, Picou, lalabert, and Hamon, whose reputation 
already extended beyond the lour walls of the atelier 

"In a brief time G6r6me became a sort ol chief among his comrades, who 
recognized his unique qualities, and submitted to his tnfluenc< he lived for three 
years in this circle. But, alas ' the atelier is not always the peaceful sanctuary ol 
study. Tranquillity becomes sometimes antipathetic to the ageol imagination, in 
which quality these sixtj young people were not lacking. All did not employ it 
111 the same manner. The) would work lor several hours and all went well, hut 
then came moments ot repose, dangerous moments, during which their repressed 
spirits broke through all restraint. Then certain traditions are hard to efface 
that ot hazing {des charges) was still greatly honored, and it furnished occasions 
tin mam practical jokes. The inventors found an extreme pleasure in this form 
ol amusement, more so than the strangers passing through the Rue Mazarin or 
the Quai Conti, with whom the) were continualh in conflict. Rumors ol these 
disturbances finally reached the ear oi the master, who was intensely displeased. 
offenders seemed repentant, promised to do better, and recommenced their 
pranks the next day. Let those who are without sm throw the first stone al 
these imruh ones. Unhappily, a sad accident changed into a tragedy the com- 
edy which had so Ion- fatigued Delaroche. who, indignant at the death of a 
new pupil (who perhaps fell a victim to the severe annoyances attending Ins 
admission), closed his atelier and summarily dismissed innocent and guilty 
without distinction. During this time tieronu was ■'! VeSOUl." 

The hapless student here referred to was the subject "i a practical joke some- 
what more elaborate than those usually conceived b) the thoughtless hut not ill- 
natured band of mischief-lovers in the atelier. For some pretended offense, he- 
ed a mock challenge, which lie accepted m good faith, the meeting taking 
plai e with all the solemnitj that should accompany an affair of Hie and death 
hut he subsequently discovered, while lying ill of a fever thai had threatened him 
for some time, that he had been duped the pistols having been charged only with 



b s //// l\/> 1VOXKS 01' //:i\ ll'j'\ G&R6ME 

powder! In bisweafc state, he magnified what had been intended onlyasa harm- 
less plaisanterie mi" a di lib rate and deadly insult, and fell into a violent rage, 
seriousl} aggravating his illness, thi fatal termination oi which was mourned by 

11 more deeply than bj his comrades, who had only expected to enjoj a heart] 

laugh togethei with the victim <>i their unluck} jesting. 

Ger6me, as we have said, was at this time fortunately on a visil to Ins 
parents al \ esoul, I te w rites 

•• It was in the third year oi my studies that, on returning from a vacation, 
I learned oi the closing oi the atelier and. ai the same time, the news 
thai M. Delaroche had placed us Picou and mysell in the atelier oi M. 
Drfilling ; two blows {deux tuiles) ai a time! I weni immediately to find 
my deai master and told him that, satisfied with his instruction, I should 
noi dream of seeking elsewhere; thai I lived well enough al Paris on my 
little annuity and consequently could exist at Rome, whither 1 desired to 
follow him ' " 

The truth is thai G6r6me had less than a dollar a day to defray </// his 
expenses rent, food, fire, clothes, use oi atelier, colors, canvas, models, etc. 
He often recurs to these days of privation : " The happiest of my life. Ma foii 
I was nch. There were others that had nothing absolutely nothing! And I 
have seen days when, if we could scrapi together forty sous to dine^ve of us, we 
thought ourselves fortunate." Some of his friends who knew him intimately, at 
this"happy" time, have testified thai his purse was always at the disposal of 

those who had " nothing," and that the "shattered health" of which he speaks 

was due in great measure to privations, self-imposed, that he might he able to 
assist his less fortunate comrades. 
I le continues in Ins recollections : 

"Ai the age of eighteen, therefore, I was in It.dv. 1 did not deceive myself 
in regard to my itttdes d' atelier, which were in truth very weak. I knew 
nothing, and therefore had everything to learn. It was already something to be 
well posted as regarded myseli ' r ' (know thyself) a good thing! 

I did not lose courage . m\ weak health impro\ ed under the influence of the good 
climate and life in the open air. and 1 set to work with ardor ; I made studies in 
architecture, landscape, figures, and animals; in a word, I fell thai I was waking 
up by contacl with Nature. 'This year was one of the happiest and best 
employed oi my life, for ai this time I was assuredly making real progress. 
lied m \ silt closely in my work, and one daw having made a study rather 
easily, I scraped it entirely from the canvas, although it was well done, so much 
did I fear to slip on the smooth plane of facility. Then already 1 was. and have 
remained, verj severe toward myself. I am my most merciless critic, because 1 
do not delude myself in regard to my work. As to the self-styled critics, their 
approbation and their raillery have always found me indifferent, for I have 



THE GLADIATORS 

ULPTURE-BRONZE) 

1878 



//// AND WORKS OI // \x //..ox ci.KOMI 



49 



always had the most profound contempl foi these vermin, who prej upon the 
bodies "' artiste (, "> day Nestor Roqueplan, who was the equal of 

his confreres, told me that one thing was evidenl / did not show sufficient 
deference to the critics/ I replied to him, ! have talent or I have il not. 

If the first is true. you critics may find fault with and demolish mj picl 

as much as yon please; they will defend themselves, and the public will be 
the judge. In the second case, unmerited praises will nol rendei my works 






1 



better, and no one will he entrapped by these lying snares. Moreover, 
added, 'whatever may In- my lot. m the presenl or in the future, 1 have 
firmly resolved never to pay the claque/' Ibis conversation created a coldness 
between us." 

In a characteristically humorous preface to the essaj from winch we have 
' quoted, Bergeral rallies the master good-naturedly on ins frankly 
expressed aversion to critics en mass* 

"Never believe any one who tells you that (Jerome loves art-critics I writes 
Bergeral gayly], lor be simply execrates them' A writer on art is tor him the 

dried fruit, par . vcellence, oi arl I literature, whichevei you please. I confess 

here that in our first interview he did not mince mailers in ,^i\ ing me his opinion 
on this point, from whence I conclude be is not very proud oi the race! It is. 
nevertheless, rather singular that the artist should owe bis precocious celebrity to 
one oi my confreres. It is true the latter possessed, in addition to bis critical 

capacities, an undisputed genius as a poet and novelist, and that he Was called 



///•/■ l.\/l WORKS Of // M //HI i,/:A'iM// 

Theophile Gautier. My relationship to him is certainly the sole cause why I was 
mil received with a volley oi stones by the painter ol the Combat de Cogs ! And 
truth compels me even to declare, that, exception once made in my favor, I found 
myseli in the presence ol the mosl charming, spirituel, and learned man that I 
have ever had the good fortune to meel among the large family oi painters. I 
imparted to him the objecl oi my visit, which was to biographize him alive in /.(/ 
Galerie Contemporaine no more nor less than it it concerned an artist for whom 
I professed .1 very sincere admiration, and whom I considered one of the glories 
"i contemporaneous arl ' He burst into a laugh and went over to his secretary, 
from .'i particular drawer in which he took an exceptionally good cigar and 
offered it to me. I give them only to m\ friends!' he remarked, and it 
was thenceforth understood that he would not treat me .is a critic! His 
two greyhounds, which till then had held themselves aloof, perhaps only 
awaiting .1 sign from their master to reduce me to a state oi ; m 1 p. now drew 

near, joyously wagging their tails, and one ol them curled 1 sell up to 

sleep at mj feet. 

"Bless mc. yes! there are critics and critics, lust as there are fagots of all 
qualities. It is clear thai an .mist oi Gerdme's ability, for instance, has a right 
to consider as both presumptuous and incompetent the bachelor oi letters who. 
without acquired knowledge or previous study, takes it into his he/id to determine 
the merits oi an art ol the very elements ol which he is ignorant. It is also 
evident that the same (leromr mighi justly leel offended at being called a Mieris, 
junior, by Burger, ij Burger passed lor a recognized authority in art matters; for 
omparison is unjust to the Liter master, and betrays both prejudice and 
lity in the judge, lint, on the whole, it the painter has Theophile Thore 
against him, he has Theophile Gautiei for him. and to be able to offset the taste 
oi the former by thai ol the latter, should, it seems to me, afford ample consola- 
tion. Besides, with all due deference to the master, if the critu did not exist, the 
artists would he obliged to invent him solelj in their own interests. The per- 
sonal harm writers on art are able to inflict is more than compensated for by the 
service they render to the cause oi general instruction. And then, as Figaro 
would say in regard to the infallibility of a critic, how many painters are there 
who are qualified to exercise the profession? It we serve only to soften the 
brotherly judgments of the artists among themselves, and to act as "mattress" 
between the different schools, we should still play a useful r61e. This is what I 
was thinking about while watching the blue spirals oi smoke from Ger6me's 
cigar disperse themselves in the atelier. 

'When I write the folio ol which I dream, on the utility of art-critics, l\ is 
understood that I shall dedicate it to Gerome! .and among the overwhelming 
proofs which 1 shall give of this utility amounting, indeed, to indispensability 
is that of having been able, thanks to the institution, to publish this biographical 

si ud\ ol the master ' " 

We. wdio have enjoyed and profited o greatlj h\ Bergerat's admirable 
writings, are only too read] to admit that ai hast criticism such as his is 



LIFE AND WORKS OF //■:.!. V LEON GERdMl 51 

"indispensable," and to recommend his essays, with theii profound learning 
underlying all the sparkle oi fanciful wit, as a model for la critique, as a 
profession. 

We left Ger6me in Rome, where he remained one year, working with 
tremendous energy under the eye of his watchful and sympathetic friend and 
master, storing his mind with varied knowledge and developing surprising 
facility, especially in drawing, lie would doubtless have been content to pursue 
delightful studies in so charming an entourage, hut the parental ambition 
lv satisfied by the assurance of his general progress, howevei 
The Prix </c Rome offered by the French Government was. at this time, hotly 
contested, and naturally attracted the attention id the prudent father, wdio 
repeatedly urged his son to enter his name as a competitor for this much coveted 
prize, which guaranteed to the winner five years' instruction at the VUla Medici, 
the entire expense of which was borne by tin- 
In order to comply with the conditions ol the competition, it was necessary to 
be an actual student in some atelier id repute in Paris, and Cu'rome, obediently 
yielding to his father's desire, quitted Delaroehe and returned to place himself 
under the instruction of G ley re. We have heard it stated that he found the 
comparison unfavorable to his new master, but. with his usual delicacy, he has 
refrained from expressing himself on this point. The fact remains, however, 
that In tayed only three months in his new atelier, and then joyfully rejoined 
Delaroehe, who had returned to Paris, working with him on a celebrated picture 
now m the museum at Versailles, (ieidme refers in his notes very briefly to this 
period 

"On my return from Italy I entered the atelier of M. Gleyre. Three months 
oi study nude figures. I then worked for nearly a year at the first draught ol 
.1 picture which occupied my mastei (Delaroehe) at that time. I refer to the 
Charlemagne Crossing the Alps. Then, as my father still desired it. I attempted 
the concours tor the Prix de Rome. The sketch was well received, the painted 
figure rejected. Decidedly I needed to draw and model the nude. It was with 
this intention ol study that I painted my first picture, Jeunes Grecs Faisant Satire 

• oq I dreaded the Salon, and feared rejection, and it was owing solely to the 
advice of the Patron that this canvas was sent there Uthougb badly placed, tin 
picture had a very great success, unquestionably an exaggerated success, which 
,1 tonished no one so much as the author!" 

Commending Gerdme's resolution to perfect himseli in drawing Mom the 

nude. De Tamilian) remarks 

" In this he acted verv wisely, and furnished an example which young 
painters would do well to imitate. The majority of them hasten to execute 
pictures before becoming sufficiently versed in drawing. Now drawing is the 



5 a I'll l\/i WORKS, Ol // M //o\ CAROM*. 

-"'"I °f all the plastic arts. Withoul it, other qualities, however brilliant they 
ma} seem, are <>nl\ .1 deception, the effeci oi which will inevitably fade away 
before long." 

01 the young artist's successful debut, Tim I ml writes as follows 

"The Salon oi 184; oughl to have left some traces m the memon ol those 
whom age condemns to remember it, bul how manj remain to day who can 
11 - Grande cevt s/>atium ! Since then man} illustrious ones have des< ended into 
the tomb or into oblivion At thai time, one man reigned supreme in the 

departmenl ol criticism, His incomparably skillful pen was a scepter, a dreaded 
si eptej whose caresses urn- longed for and whose blows solicited ; neglecl alone 
was feared. Happily, Theophile Gautier was good, and he exercised his powei 

with benignity Like an astronomer, he was devoted to his search for stars; 

his joy was never so greal as when, in the mass oi canvases under which the 
chefs-d'oeuvre oi the masters in the Louvre were yearly hidden, he succeeded 
in discovering some nameless our. some victim unjustly hoisted bv the 
administration to the height of the frieze. The more obscure the corner, the 
more openly did the protection ol the patron asserl itself, and the more ardeni 
was the revoll againsi the ignorance or the ill will oi the judges." . 

He then refers to Gautier"s description oi Gerome's firsi picture, which brought 
him it one hound into public notice, adding "The greai critic was nol deceived 
either in the value oi the work or the meritoi the artist. The chief of tin neo- 
grecs, ignoranl ol the onerous title with which he was so soon to be decorated, 
revealed in his first effori his wonderful naivety and his already consummate 
skill ol execution." 

De Tanouarn also delightedly praises this firsi effort, saying " In this sphere 
(the neo-grec) he showed himseli graceful withoul affectation, simple without 
barrenness, and learned without pedantry." 

We cannot do better than to transcribe in lull Gautier's criticism, which 
aroused so universal an attention. 

" Let us congratulate ourselves that the jury, apparently through inattention, 
has admitted a charming picture, lull oi delicacy and originality, by a young man 
ol whom we hear lor the firsi tune, and who, il we are nol mistaken, has just made 
his deliut ; we allude to Les Jeuncs Grecs Faisani />'<////;■ des Coqs,h\ M G£rome. 
This subject, apparently trivial, has, under his tine and delicate handling ol 

1 and brush, taken on a rare elegance and exquisite distinction : it is not. 

as one mighi think from the themi chosen by the artist, a canvas oi small dimen- 
sions, as is usual in similar laiu'tes. The figures are lile-si/e. anil treated in an 
entirely historical manner. Greai taleni and resources have been necessar} to 
raise so episodic a scene to the rank ol a noble composition, which no master 
would disown. Beside the pedestal oi an exhausted fountain, where a marble 
sphinx shows its disfigured profile, surrounded by the luxuriant vegetation oi a 



1111- l.\/> WORKS OF //■■./. \ ll':<>\ <,//,,u// 55 

warm country, arbutus, myrtles, and oleanders, whoso metallic leaves stand oul 
againsl the azure ol a placid sea, separated from the azure of the heavens by 
thi 1 resl oi a promontory two young people, a youth and maiden, are engaging 
in combat the courageous birds oi Mars. 

"The young girl leans upon the cage which contains thi warlike fowls, in a 
pose full oi grace and elegance. Her beautiful, tapering hands are crossed and 
charmingly disposed one oi her arms lightly presses the budding breast, and the 
bust has thai serpentine curve so sought for by the ancients; the foreshortened 
limbs arc skillfull) drawn ; the head crowned in exquisite taste by a coronet ol 
blond hair, whose fine tones contrasl softly with the skin has a childish deli- 
cacy, a virginal sweetness; with lowered eyes md mouth parting in a smile ol 
triumph for her cock appears to have the advantage the maiden regards 
the struggle carelessly, sure that her wager is won. 

" Nothing can be more beautiful than this figure, whose only covering is a 
fold ol white and yellow drapery, held in place on the sloping contours 1>\ ., 
slight purple cord ; this grouping oi tints, very sofl and very harmonious, ad- 
mirably sets oil the warm whiteness oi the young Greek's body. 

" The youth whose locks are adorned with a hastily twined wreath ol leaves 
plucked from the neighboring bushes is kneeling and bending toward his cock, 
whose courage he endeavors to stimulate. His tenures, although reminding one 
perhaps a little too much ol the model,' are drawn with remarkable skill; we 
can see that he is utterly absorbed in watching the phases oi the combat. 

"As to the fowls, they are real prodigies oi drawing, animation, and color; 
neither Sneyders, nor Veenincx, nor Oudry, nor Desportes, nor Rousseau, nor anj 
other artists who p.nnt animals, have attained, alter twenty years ol labor, the 
perfection \I Ger6me exhibits at the start. Black and lustrous, with greenish 
reflections, the neck bent, its triple collar oi feathers bristling up. the eve lull ol 

fury, the crest bleeding, the beak open, the claws drawn back to the breast— one 

oi the cocks. ,10 longer touching the earth, darts forward, presenting to its 
adversary two stars of threatening claws and formidable spurs a marvel oi pose, 
drawing, and color. 

■• Not less worthy of admiration is the cock of the coppery, reddish-tinted 
plumage, which, drawing back close to the ground, lifts its head craftily and 
extends his beak like a sword, upon which his too lien Opponent may run him- 
seli as on a spit | Whal is remarkable above all in these fowls is that, besides 
the most absolute truthfulness, they show .1 singula! elegance and nobility. 
They are the epic Olympian birds, such as Phidias would have sculptured al 
the feet ol the god .Ares, the savage offspring oi Here 

"Children and birds have made oi M Gerome's picture one ol the most 
charming canvases in the exhibition, What a delicious frieze-panel for the 
banquet hall of a king or a Rothschild!" 

We know already that this picture, which merits every word of eulogy that 
has been bestowed on it. met with the noblest fate painter or critic could have 
desired— namely, purchase by the state and a place on the line in the principal 



$6 1/1/ l.\/> WORKS OF II M l/a\ ,,li;'nn 

gallery oi the Palais du Luxembourg. Later, Edmond About wrote, "Greeceis 
thecountryoi simplicity M Gerome was 'Greek' from the beginning, because 
he was simple." And in the midsl of all this laudatory criticism of the young 
debutant, ii is interesting, as Bergeral suggests, "to know, to-day, whal Gerome, 
Wembre de I'Institut, and several times the recipienl of the Medal of Honor. 
thinks oi this first picture of Gerdme, pupil ol Delaroche, and refused in the 
competition for the Prix de Rom,- ' " We have only to turn to the notes where 

he lias so candidly recorded his recollections of these i nl> efforts, and we shall 
see. I le u nles 

\i this period I speak from a general point of view there was a complete 
absence ol simplicity. Effecl (le ckic) was in great favor, when accompanied by 
skill, which was not infrequent. And my picture had the slight merit of being 
painted l>\ an honest young fellow, who, knowing nothing, had found nothing 
belter to do than to lay hold on Nature, and follow her step by step, without 
strength perhaps, without grandeur, and certainly with timidity, but with 
sincerity. Praise was unanimous, which was not always the ease in the future 
\lv success encouraged without puffing me up. They gave me a third-class 
medal. My loot was in the stirrup' 1 then attempted a more complex compo- 
sition, in which I had less success. 1 mean my second picture. Anacreon Dancing 
with Bacchus ami Cupid, which was exhibited the following year, 1848. A dry, 
cut-up picture, the style and invention of which, however, were not bad. It I 
had had then the experience I have since acquired, this work might have been 
a good thing it remains mediocre. (In the Museum at Toulouse.) I had at the 
same time sent a Virgin u/n/ Child, after the manner of Raphael - insipid and 
of poor execution. Complete fiasco with these two pictures it was deserved! 

This paragraph attests, without a shadow ol question, the genuine imparti- 
ality of (lerome's self-criticism. Having fallen short of his high ideal, he 
disdains to mention a fact that, to say the least, would have brought consolation 
to almost any one else save this exacting spirit, namely, that his pictures won a 

second-class medal, an advance upon the first year, and that the government 
purchased the Anacreon lor one ol its best collections is only briefly stated in a 
parenthesis ! It is true that the astonishing successof his debut was not repeated, 
but there is a homely old saying that mighl apply here "lightning rarely strikes 
twice m the same place." Still we search in vain for so unsparing and severe a 
judgment as this merciless critic inflicts upon himself. Timbal writes; "The 
admirers ot yesterday were a little anxious; they should have quickly reassured 
themselves ; ii is not given to every one to commit these faults ol exaggeration 
and arrangemenl through hatred oi the commonplace, and not alone by its 
stt ingeness did the Anacreon stand out in relief from its neighboring cam 

Doubtless the bod\ and limbs ol I he lliitc-playcr were too rigidly modeled; 



THE MUEZZIN 

i AT NIC I IT' 
1882 



LIFE AND WORKS OF JEAN LEON GERdMl 57 

doubtless the poet, with his immense lyre, formed a somewhat strange silhouette 
upon the sky, and the little god Bacchus staggered more through the fault of the 
portraitisl than from the effects ot intemperance, Bu1 what a charm, reminding 
one of Luini, in the figure of Amour,a.nd in the least details ! what ingenious 
research and what originality of execution' The eye wanders delightedly over 
this antique landscape, never seen in the engravings of Poussin, but taken from 
real Nature's greal garden— with its somber rocks spotted with lichens, its green 
sward swepl by the chill wind from the sea. and its trees, with their delicate 
branches and tine foliage colored a pale gold by the vanishing sun. trembling in 
the breeze." And speaking of the religious picture, Gautier says: "Gerflme, 
although a pagan of Pompeii, also fully understands Christian art. HisSt./ohn 
Embracing /he Child Jesus on the Knees 0/ /he Virgin might have been signed 
by Overbed,-, only Overbeck would not have displayed this profound science 
of drawing and this exquisite taste bidden under the Gothic pasticcio. Gerdme 
toward Calvary by way of Athens'" 

Despite Heroine's feeling that he had tailed lo achieve a success, the enthu- 
siasm aroused by his last efforts was undeniable, and his little band of followers. 
henceforth known as the tteo-grec school, increased in numbers and rallied around 
him with all the ardor of youth and fervoi oi artistic zeal. 

" Hut the days following victory," remarks Timbal sagely, "are often full of 
rs ; not only do enemies watch for possible faults on the part of the 
conqueror, but friends even sometimes become more exacting. Ccromc was 
going to experience for some lime the instabilities ot success, although he S< 
only to have to march on in the route he had traced out for himself, and in which 
others already were following htm. The eyes o! the public were fixed in expecta- 
tion on the tiny garden in the Rue de Fleurus, where, in the shade oi lilacs and 
rose trees, the little colony had pitched its tents and set up its household ;od 
near him they had chosen as their chiei 

"They constituted.'' says Mrs. Stranahan. " a kind of apostlcship around 
Gerdme of artists oi the most d( [icate conceits, and formed in art a sort oi 
little Athens, in which Theophile Gautier made himself fondly at home It Has 
a realm, tin air of which would not perhaps be sustaining or even perceptible to 
the respiratory organs of Courbet. Then practice was the opposite ot his; it was 
i" put the common, trivial incident into a graceful rendering, often with a 
charming poetic sentiment, and by harmonizing contours and evolving grace of 

line, to give to the nude the classic treatment. They had a predilection for the 
nude. Their treatment differs from the academic classic, in taking tin common 
incident, the familiar and emotional side of Creek or Roman life -in fact, in 
painting the genre of the antique, or. a more pleasing if less substantial depart- 
ment of then practice, the genre of fancy as in the works ot Hamon and 



5 s I"! WD WORKS Of Jl \A ll.<>\ GiRdMl 

Vubert. They also treated subjects ol modem life, but it was by poetizing them 
inio the classic, rathei than by aggrandizing them into it, as bad been the 
practice oi the Davidians. The influence of this school is in some d 
perceptible in mosl oi the later French artists." 

11 was in a simple little wooden cottage thai these happy poet-artists 
gathered around theii beloved leader, who, as Hamon wrote, " inspired one with 
a love "I work, bul work dom laughing and singing!" 

Bui there came, as we have heard from G6r6me's own lips, days oi 
di couragemenl and trial, and, in truth, oi real suffering and pinching want. 
The revolution ol 1848, in which he figured prominently as captain on thi 
oi the National Guard, although comparatively pacific, seriously affected the 
already precarious existence ol the struggling hand, some ol whom were 
practically withoul resources. There was no demand normarkel for paintings, 
and G6r6me's generosity soon broughl him to the common condition, "emptj 
pockets." Many were the curious shifts thej made during the nexl year to keep 
ih "wolt from the door " ; such as painting tin} religious cards representing the 
" Way of the Cross," and drawing lots to see who should place themselves on the 
steps of the differenl churches, in the hope oi gaining the price of a meal by 
selling these incentives to devotion to the faithful, as they passed in and oul ol 
the sanctuary. Hut in spite of empty stomachs and chilled fingers, which were 
often wanned only over a blaze made ol a stray newspaper captured as a wintry 
wind blew it along the boulevard, the work went on. and the "laughing and 
singing" did not diminish, though an attentive ear mighl have detected an 

undertone ol pathos and patient resignation. Gem me. as usual, does not dwell 
on these days of hardship, stoically endured ; pride and consideration tor his 
parents prevented him from confessing his need} condition till a dangerous 
attack ol typhoid fever almost put an end to Ins career Mis dear mother 
hastened to Paris, and. alter weeks oi devoted nursing, carried him away to 
Italy, where they remained tor three months, visiting Genoa, Milan, and Venice 
before returning. 

licrome again takes up his recollections. Alter this I exhibited almost 
everj year, hut I had losl ground, and several works placed before the public 
Kit it cold and mdi Herein . One oi them, under the title ot (, ym cie, aroused con- 
siderable attention, lull more on account ol the subject (sad ' sad ') than of the 
in inner m which it was treated." 

Uthough, as Bergeral says, "ii somewhat shocked the bourgeois and philis- 
tine folk, who seemed to demand that the artist should regard these beautiful 
forms and graceful postures from their severely moralistic point of view," it can- 
not be denied that the suhject is portrayed with the sohemess characteristic of 
this painter, who reproduces the actual life of ancient ('.recce not only in his 



/.//•/ AND WORKS Of / /■ I \ llo\ ,,/,,, 

themes, bul in his modesty ol pose and delicacy of treatment. Aside from the 
masterly modeling oi the differenl figures, which are standing or languidly 
reclining on couches covered with tiger-skins, whal delightful grouping ol details 
Al tm, l here! Vines clambering upward toward the sun over polished marble 
pillars; a solemn old stork standing on one leg and gravely regarding some black 
and wink- ducks who paddle to and fro in a pool ol cleat water; vases, lamps, 
and amphora oi exquisite shape ; delicate frescoes and tiling ; graceful draperies; 

ous fruits heaped temptingly in a Sal bowl with curved handles, and burning 
incense mingling its intoxicating perfume with the fainl odorol the flowers thai 
liave dropped from the hand oi the sleeping beauty, who lies upon a superb lion- 
skin which is thrown on the tessellated floor ' 

()| this canvas, which also hears the title Intirieur Grec, Haulier declares. " ll 
is the only picture which can be placed beside the Stratonia o! Ingres, li is a 
chef-d'oeuvre ol style, grace, and originality." 

No reproduction exists ol two additional paintings exhibited this same year 
i 1850) Souvenir J' Italic and Bacchus et VAmour I ires : but the latter ol which 
Ri m M< nard writes. Every one will remember what a sensation was produced 
by this charming picture" was singled out by the government and bought foi 
the Museum at Bordeaux. 

The years 1851 [852 were busily employed executing a state commission, con 

cerning which the artist writes as follows: 

ll was toward lliis period that I finished a Chapel (St. Sevcrin). which 
doubtless has some merit, hut which betrays the youth and inexperience of the 
artist. On one side the ( ommunion of St. ferdme, on the other Beteunce Making 
a I ow to the Sacred Heart during the plague at Marseilles. ( )ne or t wo charactei s 
m the first picture are well done, among others the Si. Jerome; the general 
character is quite exalted, and the treatment does not lack boldness; bul every- 
where there is dryness and even hardness. This is a delect which I have 
always soughl to correct in myself, and if 1 have succeeded in diminishing it. I 
h ive not vet been able to rid myseli ol it entirely. In the other picture, several 

ters are well conceived, among others 1 he young woman showing her dead 
child to Belzunce. 'The scene is well composed, the subject clearly expressed 
I hat is all I can say of it !" 

Who among competent professional critics will fail to appreciate the sterling 

worth of criticism like this, or the rare Strength of character that renders 11 
possible ? 

Masson characterizes these mural decorations as "two noble compositions 
..I an elevated character and a true inspiration. II certain portions seem a little 
dry. nothing is ordinar} In fact, this is a distinguishing feature in the work of 
Gerdme that it never falls into, nor touches ever SO slightly, the commonplace." 



6o 



///■/ i\/> WORKS <</■ //..i.\ //.ox <,/./, 







M. de Tanouarn also describes the same work as "an admirable composition, 
endowed with all the qualities which religious painting can have in our day.' 
In point of mural decorations, Ger6me was afterward called upon to adorn the 
Bibliotheque afes //A, 7.1/ 'tiers, which was the ancient refectory ol Saint- Martin- 

des-Champs, and several years later for some 
panels in the 1'ompeian Palace of Prince 
Napoleon, ol which we shall make further 
mention 

The Salon of 1852 also held a picturesque 
landscape entitled Vue de Pcestum. The broth- 
ers Goncourl devoted quite a space in one of 
their admirable critiques to this charming bit 
ol Nature, where "the whole scene exhaled a 
delicious freshness." They especially admired 

"the heavy heads, the W00II3 tufts, the solidit} 
ol the joints, and the varied movement of the 
buffaloes, hastening, rushing down to the w; 
to quench their thirst, " 

<. i lome's notes now briefly record the 
exposition at the Salon of 1853 of a frieze 
destined to he reproduced on a "vase, com- 
memorative- oi the Universal Exposition at 
London, ordered bv the Minister o| Slate from 
the government manufactory at Sevres." 'The 
figures on this superb vase, which was 

sented by the French Governmenl to Queen 

Victoria, were life-size, and ,u;avc the artist a rare opportunity to exhibit his 
versatile powers. :->.ivs Masson 

" Never perhaps more than here has the painter given proof of his inventive 
genius, in the grouping ol personages, in the research for symbols ol each nation. 
111 the pursuit of characteristic types of the human races. The composition is 
ingenious and simple. With a subject that too easily [ends itsell to the common- 
place, the author has drawn a lofty poem oi I niversal Industry, for which each 
nation furnishes a strophe. Antique costumes, learnedly studied, freshened by 
ingenious details, ennoble the modern accessories. It is a kind ot ethnographic 
resume, which it is interesting to compare with the tapestries ot the eighteenth 
century which represent the Lour Quarters ot the Globe." 

Ciiome has also executed life-size figures ot different nations lor a mode] 

lighthouse, in an equally masterly manner, lie also sent to the same Salon a 
Study of a Dog and fdylle,a fantasy in his much-loved classic style a youth and 



LIFE I.Y/i WOJiKS OF JEAN LEON GERdift 61 

maiden leaning against a fountain where a graceful fawn comes confidingly to 
drink. It is a most poeti< conception, expressive of pure, artless love and the 
happy insouciana oi " Life in Vrcadia." 

We now come to the first of those journeys which had so decided an influence 
over the subsequent work of the artist, and oi which he briefly speaks as follows ■ 
" In 1854 I started for Moscow with my friend Got. <>n the way we changed our 
minds, turned back, and took the route to Constantinople by way of the Danube 
and the Black Sea, a voyage ol tourist-,, not workers." 

He could scarcely have chosen his compagnon de voyage better. M. Got, the 
celebrated actor a the Comedie Frant aise, was a man not only skilled in his own 
profession but of remarkable learning and a genial wit. Unfortunately war broke 
out and prevented our travelers from gaining the interior. Obliged t'> retraci 
their steps, they took passage on a huge flatboat, which drifted lazily down the 
Danube, touching here and there to discharge or increase its cargo. Of this 
journey Timbal writes ; 

"One day, as Hie boal stopped for this purpose, Ger6me and his friend went 
on shore tor a stroll . chance led them near a ^ r roup dimly outlined through the 
morning mists. It was a band of musicians belonging to tin- Russian army, wdio 
were singing a battle-march, Gerome approached, leisurely regarded them, took 
his sketches and his notes, and the Cossacks did not concern themselves about 
him. More prudence is exercised on other frontiers, and any other unfriendly 
nation would perhaps have made a hostage oi the audacious painter, or. more 
probably, a spy and a victim. This is how it happened that, starting for the 
Ukraine to sketch the descendants of the vassals of ancient Rome, (ierome met 
there the actors in a little page of contemporaneous history, whose modest figures 
destined almost to eclipse those of Virgil and of Brutus, but who opened up 
to him who knew how to see and to portray them a new vein of success ; it is far 
from being exhausted, and it is by this carefully renewed and cultivated power of 
recognizing the picturesque element, and the striking physiognomy of foreign 
races, that the painter still achieves to-day one of his most incontestable 
triumphs." 

This was only one of the many sketches with which our artist filled his port 
folios before taking the steamer at Constantinople to return by way of Malta to 
Paris, where he attacked with renewed ardor the great historical picture which 
as we have seen, excited the profound admiration not only of the more serious 
artists, hut of the most distinguished poets, historians, ami litterateurs oi that 
period. But it was to the general," and the disappointment of the artist 

ing his picture-- "i gi no pri ferred to his greater work is easily understood. 
lie writes : "This same year I had received an order for a large picture - The . tge 
of Augustus, Birt h of Christ. Tins canvas, which cost me two years oi work 
and enormous efforts (it measured ten meters in length bv seven in height), only 



///■/ \ND WORKS <>/■ II l\ m<\ t.ll'. 'I// 

obtained a succes d'estime, which was perhaps unjust. However, I must admil at 
once thai the picture had one glaring defecl il lacked invention and originality, 
recalling l>\ the disposition oi the figures, and unhappily by this point only, the 
\potheosis oj Homer, by Ingres. This grave faull once acknowledged, it is just to 
admil thai in this vasl composition there are figures well conceived, motifs oi 
groups happily combined (such as Brutus and Cassius, Cleopatra and Antonj i, 
arrangements ol costumes and draperies in good style; in short, a quantit3 oi 
fancies, crowned in some instances with success, with which perhaps the public 
should have accredited me; it has not done so." 

Here again we see Gerome, with his severely critical eye, detecting and 
magnifying his weak points, utterly underestimating the impression made l>\ 
this remarkable picture, which, adds Gautier to his exhaustive critique, alreadj 
quoted, "will he forevei remembered as one oi tin- beauties "I the Exposition 

\i the same time." continues Ger6me, "appeared a small picture repre- 
senting The Band of a Russian Regiment. I had, il seemed, found la not, 
senst /•/,'. tor u was much more remarked than my large works, on which 1 bad 
a greater righl to count. This year I received the decoration oi the Legion 
i 't I tonor." 

\nd another medal, he might have added, hut that his mention of laurels 

d is rare. and always brief, since they never have impressed him as deeply 

as his failures to attain to his highest ideals. It was no consolation to him to 

see visitors to the Salon jostling each other in an effort to gain a place in the 

crowd that always stood before his other pictures, notably the Recreation in 

< </////>. 

In a private letter to a triend at this tunc. I u r >me writes : "I send you the 
picture ol the Russians, which I took to M. de Nieuwerkerke a few days ago. 
I le has allowed me to hope thai he will make ever} effort to have il hung on the 
sacred walls/ As it is not large, try to place it well tor me. it it is still allowed 
to come in. I do not know what title to give it. 1 think it would he best to 
simply call it Russian Recreation in Camp Souvenir of Moldavia, 1854. It really 
has no need ol a title, tor il is sufficiently plain, ami. even it it is placed, it cannot 
appear in the catalogue." 

The artist need not have feared tor the late of this little gem, which was 
gladly accepted by the administration, many weeks alter the opening ol the 
Exposition, achieving an instant and universal success. Gautier writes of it as 

follows : 

"Let us speak now ol a picture which does not appear on the catalogue 
1.. ause it was not finished till long after the opening of the Exposition. As it 
is difficull to find, we are sure of rendering service to amateurs by informing 
them that it is placed in the lust gallery, among the exhibits from Portugal. It 



III! l.YD WORKS OF II IX I i:o\ (,/,■. 

is .i study from nature made during a journey in Moldavia in 1854, when the 
artisl had the good fortune to be in close proximitj to a Russian camp ; actuality, 
as one will quickly notice, is nol wanting in iliis scene. 

"Some Russian soldiers, dressed in capotes of gray drugget, resemhling the 
frock oi a monk or a hospital great-coat, and wearing blue helmets bordered 
with red, are ranged in a circle; the} have been ordered to amuse themselves and 
thej are conscientiously obeying the command; one ol them has advanced to 
the center of the circle and is executing a kind of awkward Muscovite cachucha, 
accompanying himseli on two triangles garnished with strings on which quiver 
liulr copper coins which he rattles together; the orchestra is composed oi a violin, 
a drum, and a fife; those who have no instruments sing, or, inserting two fingers 
into their mouths, produce a shrill whistling ; some of them, between the strophes 
ot tins rondo, take .1 w In it from i heir short pipes. Nothing is more i 111 Hiiis than 

these Kalmuck anil Tartar types, with then flat noses, projecting cheek bi 
ami shaved heads, their Alhinodike mustaches, and little eyes under eyelids 
sloping toward the temples ; the countenances ol these poor devils are resigned, 
nostalgii and very gentle in spite oi their ugliness; the young fifer is almost 
good looking, and on the field of battle he would blow into his little reed pipe 
with the same stohdiU as did the lifer so much admired by Frederick the 
Great. 

■■ At a little distance an under-officer mounts guard, holding in his arm. bent 
behind ins hack, a whip, to stimulate the mirth ! Farther oil a second circle is 
absorbed in the same diversion. Tents of white canvas, a gray hill where seven 
or eight windmills arc turning their tans, looking like huge wheels, a hazy sky 
on which a sharp line is traced by a llock of cranes, the Hat hanks ol the Danube, 
where a melancholy sentinel is gazing into the turbid current all this tonus a 
m isi original background for this strange < ircle. It is impossible to describe the 
profound sadness of this scene, placed in these somher surroundings, dimly 
lighted, and as il veiled with ennui. The execution has a precision and finish 
that does noi exclude breadth, the secret of which M. Gerome possesses. One 
more ol Russia m looking at tins little canvas for a quarter ol an hour 
than by reading twenty descriptive volumes ; painting, with its mute language, 
often says more than the wordiest writers." 

\\ it h, mi i eci pi mil. i li< en ties lavished praise on tins unique and exquisitely 
painted scene, where, as Edmond About sa\ s, -each fold ot drapery might have 
been signed bj Meissonier." 

In addition to these two canvases, each so extraordinary in its own sph 
«, rome exhibited three hits of genre; ./ Flock-tender, An Italian Lad Playing 
on ,/ Samponia, and the pendant, In Italian Girl Playing on a Mandoline, which 
I'.autier pronounced "very finished and very precious, strikingly displaying the 
dclicat. p. i u i tion oi the artist's skill." 

\i tin- end oi this Exposition," writes Bergerat, "a little saddened by the 
injustice ol the public toward his important effort in le grand art, Gerftme started 



'■I /.///. i \ /> WORKS, Of IEAA L&OA G&ROMl 

for Egypt, Was he not predestined to painl the Orient, this man whose first 
child's attempt had been to copy a picture by Decamps'' - And Timba] adds, 
' IK- went in seek the promised land, the country oi those poets, choristers of the 
sun. who were called Marilhat and Decamps. Did he nut show some temerity 
in choosing theii route' What was the newcomer going to do? Copy his pre- 
decessors or contradict them.' Cicrome did not embarrass himself in advance 
with troublesome questionings. U hat he was ^oin^ to see he would relate in his 
own \\a\ Comparisons weighed hut little on him. A single desire possessed 
him to copj faithfully the scenes the Orient wasaboul to place before his eyes. 
In finding again on theshores.it the Nile the souvenir of that second vocation oi 
which he had caughl a glimpse one day on the banks oi the Danube, he fixed a 
certain horizon and determined upon a precise goal which lor some time had 
seemed to tlee before him." 

In truth, in Ocromc's recollections there sounds at this moment a joyous note 
ot relief, hope, and eager expectation : a view-halloo oi the unequaled success 
thai was to crown his efforts in this line : 

■Departure lor Egypt. My short stay m Constantinople had whetted my 
appetite, and the Orient was the most frequent of my dreams. Probably some 
Bohemian slipped in among my ancestors, tor I have always had a nomadic dis- 
position and a well-developed hump ot locomotion. I started with friends, being 
one of five all of us with little money hut abundant spirits ' I Eowever, living al 
that time was very cheap in Egypt. The country had not yet been invaded by 
the Europeans, and one could live thereat a very moderate expense. We rented 
a sailboat and stayed for four months on the Nile, hunting, painting, and fishing, 

from Damietta to Philas We returned to Cairo, where we passed tour 

months more in a house in old Cairo, which Suleiman Pasha rented to us. In 
our quality ot Frenchmen he showed us the most cordial hospitality, Happ\ 
time ot youth, thoughtlessness, and hope! The sky was blue! ... Many 
pictures, more or less successful, more or less to the taste of the public, were 
executed as a result of this sojourn by the hanks ol the Father ot Waters. 

With these lew lines, the artist lightly disposes of that unprecedented col- 
lection of paintings which he sent to the Salon ol 1S57. and which al once estab- 
lished his claim to the title oi foremost Orientalist ot the age -a claim since 
confirmed beyond all question. The amount of work he accomplished within 
a lew months is almost incredible, and its variety and quality astonished alike 
connoisseurs and the general public. 

Timba] writes: "It is ancient Egypt, whose sand each year devours its 
precious remains, and also Egypl Struggling for a new birth, where the painter 
seems lo show us the steady fatality which keeps an accursed race under the 

double yoke oi slavery and suffering. He gives to these revelations ol a country 



LIFE AND WORK!, Ol Ji I \ //[,i\ <,//,. 

already well-known, a new physiognomy, ana 3 to his pictures the indisputable 
authority "I a document of winch history will one day invoke the testimony. 
And art can demand nothing more from these scenes, so proudly faithful in their 
simplicit} "I effect and execution, winch repose eyes wearj oi conventionalities 
become ba nates, and which are none the less skillful because they 'I" nol pretend 
to add lighl to the sun, nor to lend brilliancy to the rags <>i the fellah. " 

Lei us follow Gautier as he passes from one to the other oi these 
wonderful canvases, reproducing with facile penci 
see the originals, their unique beauty, 
which he Ikis already given us 
some foreshadowing in his re- 
view dI the atelier sketches. 



for those who cannot 
pathos, and power, oi 










down in white 

buildings. The 

appearance "I snow- 



" ( me is apl to picture 

to om's sell tropica] 
countries as glowing 
and flaming with 
licit ; this is true some- 
times but not always. The intense light pouring 
floods changes the color ol sky, earth, and 
sand, on lire, assumes under a leaden sun the cold 

while the impalpable dust raised on the horizon forms a kind of mist 
which chills and extinguishes the warm tones of color. Therefore the absolute 
truthfulness ol the Egyptian Recruits Crossing the Desert is more astonishing 
than convincing to the general eye. One thinks, in spite ol one's self, ol 
the deserts of the opera, with their skies streaked with indigo and mine </.' 
Saturne, and their inevitable clump of palm trees. Here, there is nothing 
ol the kind ; sand as white as powdered freestone, blown into rippling waxes 
by the wind, betraying the passage of caravans by large footprints, or rising 
in opaque whirlwinds; a sky \eiled by a dusty fog and burning with the 
rays of a sun blazing at a white heal b< lore, behind, to the righl and 
to the Kit. above and below, an absoluti barrenness dull, pallid, dry, over- 
whelmed and overwhelming; the only drops that fall being drops oi sweat. 
the only breath that stirs, the suffocating khamsinn. The Egyptian recruits 

traverse this charming site in charge <>f several Arnauts. One can well 
conceive that, in order t<> force them to start, it was necessar} to end-. I 
them soundly, and fasten them, two by two. like galley-slaves, in their wooden 
stocks. At the head ol tins melancholy cortege strides an A ru, i lit, his j^un thrown 
across his shoulders and under his arms, like the wands the bears, confreres 
oi Atta Troll, hold between their paws; he marches with a calm, insolent, and 
cruel air. in his beautiful costume whitened with dust. The sufferings of the 
miserable wretches who follow him with heavy Step, hindered by their shackles, 
do not move him in the slightest degree. lie has lor human life the quiel 
fatalistic disdain ol the Orient. Several soldiers guard the column which faces 



///■/■ I \ /> WORKS Oi //■ I \ L£ON GiRdMI: 

the spectator. The firsl row is composed oi fellahs, Copts, and negroes, clad in 
blue shirts, in brown tnach'lahs or white burnous, more or less tattered; some 
.Me barefooted, others drag along in fragments of savates, A gloomj despair 
can be read in their stupefied countenances, and they march with the som- 
nolenl pace ol overdriven beasts ol burden whom the lash lias ceased to sting; 
the fetters on their wrists prevenl them from even wiping their foreheads. 
The second file, already less distinct, appears in the gaps between the heads, 
and the rest of the column stretches out like a flock ot shadows through an 
ever-thickening cloud of dust. \l Bida has treated the same subject in a 
drawing which will not fail to impress European travelers. Bui hehaschosen 
the momenl ol departure, where the scenes oi farewell have furnished pathetic 
effects In the picture by \l G6rflme, the victims, caught as in a vise between 
the impassibility of nature and the impassibility of despotism, have nol even 
tears lefl to shed 

With a sigh and a shudder, we move on beside the great critic and pause 
before the Memnon and Sesostris. 

"Two mountains sculptured in the form of man which neither time, nor 
tremblings of the earth, nor conquerors much more terrible, have been able to 
mo\ e from their base ' They arc there, their colossal hands crushing their knees, 
shapeless, monstrous, flat-nosed, returning slowly to rock, standing oul against 
the arid background of the Lybian range winch lies barren beneath a scorching 
snn rosy in the light, blue in the shadow. Memnon has lost his voici . and. since 
the Roman Emperor essayed Ins restoration, no longer salutes Aurora. The 
inscriptions on the pedestal seem to-day untrue, but the phenomenon ot his melodi- 
ous vibration is established by history in the most incontrovertible manner. At 

the fool Oi these gigantic Statues, a group of men and camels may serve as a scale 

oi comparison ; they scarcely attain the heighl oi the base-plate. To relieve this 
landscape of limestone and granite, M. (ieroine has placed m the foreground 
se\ era! clumps oi green herbs, which the summer will soon change into tawny tuits 

i. sembling a lion's inane Some camels are squatting on the grass unsaddled. 

chewing, or stretching their necksover the turf. In the center ol the picture, a 
large camel, with one fore-leg bent in a shackle, seems to resist the efforts ol Ins 
drivel to make him kneel beside a more peaceful comrade. The stubborn animal 
raises its head, shows its gums, and is doubtless making the kind of grunting 
noise which is the mode of complaint peculiar to the camel. The accessories, the 
saddles, cushion-,, carpets, sticks, and bits oi stuffs are treated with a consci- 
entious precision thai reveals the use ol each object. Ill the background, an 

Arab, mounted on a ma Inn- i, is scudding awa\ at a great pace; nothing can be 

more odd than this ambling gail and these long legs agitating themselves in 

like those of an immense field-spider. M. G6rome, during Ins travels in 

Egypt, has made a special study ot the queer profiles presented in repose and in 

action by the strange animal to whom the Arabs have given the name ot 'shipol 

the desert '; he is thoroughly master of it and can reproduce all its attitudes. 



LIFE \\l< WORKS 01 II i\ LSOA (,/■:■ "1 

I In Plain oj Thebes is the reverse side' oi the picture we have just de- 
scribed. The foreground consists oi fragments of enormous columns, in scattered 
Mocks, on one oi which is carved the image of a god ; il is the debris oi a ruined 
palace, probably thai of Amenophis; beyond the ruins stretches a plain subjeel to 
inundations, crossed by a road along which a caravan oi dromedaries is passing, 
followed by a little donkey carrying its rider on the croup after the Axabii 
fashion. The two colossi, with great difficulty diminished by the distance. 
reappear, seen from the hack, their royal tresses gathered and knotted behind 
their heads like a queued /a prussienne. Farther on, the eye discovers blackish 
lands, besprinkled with trees and palms, and to the righl hillocks, or rathe) 
mounds formed of nuns, fragments oi which stick up through the ground. In 
the background a chain Oi distant mountains, rosy and purple . oxer them a skv 

misi\ with heat, which seems to lie far above and behind the shimmering, 
luminous atmosphere, and on which a tlock oi wandering storks make micro- 
scopic points. 

" We describe m detail, as if we were on the very spot, these strange land- 
scapes, so new to Parisian ideas that any one but a traveler would be tempted to 

believe them false precisely because the representation is so absolutely true. 
Hut what can we do' The environs of Thebes do not resemble the outskirts of 
Tails' We must make up our minds to be content with this barrenness 
grand, solemn, and mournful. On the frame the sacred uroeus spreads it> wings, 
and the hieroglyphic I barai ters, most familiar to travelers, succeed in giving to 
the whole an absolutely Egyptian appearance." 

Beside these more important pictures bung a simple everyday scene, the 
accuracy oi which all travelers m the desert lands oi the East will .ittest. The 
critic ot the London Athenceum especially recommended to English ariists close 
studv of the "superb execution and firm, deliberate drawing." Gautier also 
describes in his graphic way this picture of Camels Drinking from the 
Fountain of tin- Crocodile, which takes its name from the sculptured figure 
over the basin: 

■■ Before a stone trough led by the clay pots of a sassaohieh.a group ot camels, 
one "I which carries his driver, extend their ostrich-like necks and plunge t lnii 
hairy lips into the water, drinking lor the thirsl to come. They are of all kinds 
anil colors, and \l. (uremic has been able to indulge himself to his heart's content. 
Il would be difficult to rendei more perfectly the hairy skin, the physiognomy, and 
the character of this animal. Only the desire to reproduce everything has 
perhaps led the artist to elaboration of minuti;e; certain portions are rather 
sculptured than painted, and the covering oi the muscles is in some parts meager. 
But how greatly we prefer this severit} to the slovenly vagueness ot main artists. 
Doum palms, with their fans oi pointed leaves, the side oi a wall, and a bit ot sky 
till the background in a characteristic manner. This picture whose subject 
offers nothing dramatii but which represents a scene ot patriarchal hie with a 
truth on which the most suspicious can i.lv pleases and interests us greatly. 



68 /.//■/■ l\l> WORKS 0/ II l\ li't>\ <,//,,'!// 

We are nol oi those who desire that art should have a purpose outside of itself ; 
but, without heing utilitarian the least in the world, we think thai painting is oi 
use, when, n maining within the conditions of beauty, ii acquaints us with the 
types, customs, aspects, and usages ol distant countries; and that is why we laud 
M. G6r6me for having quitted for the moment mythology and history, to take us 
with him mi liis travels." 

Bui G6r6me is not oi those who quickly and easily forsake "the old 
love foi the new," and be adds to his collection a dainty bit of real life 
more familiar to the average traveler, from the land that claimed his early 
artistic affections, 

" Al the corner oi a streei in Rome, some pifferari are standing before a 
Madonna, sheltered in a littli i hap< I > rected on a fragmenl of an antique column 
with i Corinthian capital from a crossbeam ol iron fastened to the wall hangs a 
lamp about the height ol the sacred image. According to the Italian custom the 
pifferari are serenading the Holy Virgin and the Divine Child. One of them, 
the youngest, is playing on a species oi fife; the other presses under hi 
the leather bag of the cornemuse, inflated with wind, and devotes himself to his 
untutored fingering oi the long pipes, One knows, even al Paris, the picturesque 
tatters oi these Strolling musicians, so beloved oi artists, and who, tor the most 
part, come from the Abruzzes. Their sharp and nasal chanting is not without 
charm, above all when heard from a little distance. This time \l GeYdme has 
chosen microscopic proportions and his picture could be placed on the golden 
plate oi Meissonier. Ii is a inn chej d'eeuvre oi finish, delicacy, and precision. 
Place upon a perfect photographic prooi a vivid, clear, charming color, ami add 
the style, which is the very soul of the artist and which no instrument can 
give, and you will have the Pifferari oi M G6r6me, a miniature which pos- 
sesses grandeur." 

Leaving these strange, exotic scenes ol the distant Bast, and this typical 
Southern group, we find ourselves on the edge of a silent crowd whose faces. 
expressing varied emotions, are eagerly turned toward another cam as bearing the 
same signature. Says De Tanouarn : 'The artist has resolved in this work a 

delicate problem he has pleased the 'crowd' without degrading art; he has 

approached them like those ariimls seigneurs who make themselves accessible 
without losing any of the dignity of their rank." lie was speaking ol the world- 
renowned Duel after the Masquerade, the original of which is in the magnificent 
I oil, ction of the Due d'Aumale at Chantill) . and a replica in the wonderful gal- 
leries oi one of our most cultivated and liberal American connoisseurs, Mr. \V. T. 
Walters of Baltimore. It will be interesting to uole how this picture affected two 
nations so different in then "point of view "as the French and English. To this 
end we quote two quite lengthy reviews; the first by Gautier, the second from 
the London Athenaeum oi January, 1858. 



LIFE l\/> WORKS OF Jl M !/,<\ GERdML ; i 

" One is always sure [says Gautier] ol finding a large crowd stationed befon 
the Duel by M. Ger6me. It is the popular success ol the Salon ; and. as the 
picture is no1 large, one must always awail one's turn to see it, This vogue, lei 
ns hasten to say, is nol due to any method that arl would disappro^ e Nourished 
by the severest studies, and endowed naturally with an exceptionally pure taste, 
oung master would scorn a triumph gained al such a price. The singularity 
oi the subject attracts the public, the meril oi the execution retains the con 
noisseur. h would he almost trite to say thai the forms and costumes of modern 
life lend bul little to painting. Artists appear more convinced than any one else 
of this truth, and the\ willingl) borrow from ancient times the subjects of their 
compositions. It is only in the lasl extremity, as in the portrait, for instance, 
that they resign themselves to the actual fashions; and even then they alter 
them as much as possible b) the introduction ol mantles, burnous, shawls, 
and other accessories having some special character. Even in genre they stop al 
the last century, where one seeks the picturesque in the Pyrenees, in Brittany, in 
Aragon, in Algeria. The number of canvases that could serve as documents in 
future ages, as to our interiors, our furniture, our costumes, out types, our mode 
ol life, is excessively limited; and, unhappily, almost always oi mediocn i 
tion. It seems that the art ol to-day is affected by farsightedness, and can only 
discern objects belonging to remote and bygone ages; it sees nothing around 
about itself. Aside from several portraits and official pictures, lew ol the 

canvases mark the present period. We must, therefore, thank M. Gerfime, the 
painter ol Grecian elegance, the Pompeian archaeologist, th< expert in exotic or 
primitive types, for having taken a hare subject from our customs; he risks 
much in handling a reality oi which every one is, or thinks he is a judge, in sub- 
jecting new matter, new physiognomies, and new attire to the requirements ol 
art. What would have happened had he depicted a duel foughl in black 

The idea of the Duel after ///<• Masquerade is ingenious, thrilling, dramatii 
it impresses at the same time the mind and the eye. by the antithesis of the action 

and the actors terrible act ion. grotesque actors, a duel ol pierrots and harlequins 

elevated to a tragic height, without avoiding a single comic detail. Some young 

people, doubtless overheated with wine, have begun a dispute on the steps ol the 
Opera, 01 in some cabinet in the Maison d'Or, on account ol .1 push with an 
elbow, a too cutting sarcasm, a slight In ol jealousy, or lor any other trifling 

tine oi those busybodies who are alu,iv> read} to show courage with 

the blood of Others, has brought swords, and llie whole companv . without taking 

time lor .1 change oi costume, hi ae out in two carriages to the Bois de Bou- 
logne; ilu gi a dawn scarce opens its heavy eyes upon the morning mist, 
through which skeletons o I slender trees are dimly seen. The snow covers the 
earth with a white winding-sheet, stretched oui during the night as ii to receive 

the d id l old, solitude, and silence have kepi watch around about, that nothing 

should disturb the combatants ; and indeed, the) have succeeded onlj too well in 

their unlucky affair. Footmarks in the snow show the place ol the struggle ; one 

ol the antagonists, the pierrot, has been wounded and could say with Mercutio, 

ng a funereal pun. 'Ask for me to-morrow and von shall find me a -rave 



72 I'll AND WORKS Ot // l\ I l.o\ G&R6MI 

mail!' The blood spreads its red stain over the cassock with the big buttons ; the 
liml)s, from which the life is departing, and over which the will no longer asserts 
us power, lie inert on the snow, and, under the loose garments, seem already 
stretched oul in a shroud. Were it nol for the friend, disguised as a valet of the 
Comedie-Francaise, who supports him, he would fall prostrate. The pallor of 
death shows through the paint which has been partly wiped from the face of poor 
Pierrot; the dull eye already stares into vacancy, and on the drawn lips his 
expiring sigh leaves a rosy foam. 

" f*he sleeve ol the right arm. turned up above the dhow for the combat, 
exposes the quivering flesh and weak muscles of the young debauchee, who still 
holds beneath his contracted fingers the sword that has so poorly defended Us 
master. Vnother person, dressed in the costume of a Chinese mandarin, red and 
-nen, oddly beflowered in fantastic design, throws himself upon his knees and 
examines with terrible anxiety the bloodstained breastol th< victim. A. little in 
the rear ot this group, a man in a black dommo is lifting his hands with a gesture 
.a despair, as if to i e. 1 1 his hair at the deplorable result ot a silly quarrel. 

'Another -roup, at quite a distance Irom the first, is composed of the 
murderer and his second, who are hurrying awaj a harlequin and a Mohican. 
Harlequin, to prepare tor the fight, had thrown on the snow his black mask and 
his paletot ; his sword, stained with blood, lies on the ground, and these sig- 
niticant accessories skillfully connect the two parts of the composition; the har- 
lequin seems to he feverishly telling the savage, whose arm he clutches, that his 
opponent did not parry, that he absolutely ran himself through with the sword, 
and other explanations, too late to avoid the inevitable fatalitj : the other bends 
as it to reply. 'What is to be done about it?' In the back-round the earn 

the wounded man assumes m the fog the melancholy look ot a hearse, with it^ 
inky silhouette, and the drivers, who arc whispering together, seem like under- 
takers. 

"Surely this is odd and sinister, ot a wild and romantic fancy and a 
strange philosophical daring! To mix up the Carnival and Death, to change 
the wooden sabei ol Harlequin into a real sword: to transform the spol 
wine into bloodstains, to surround the death agony with a circle ot masks, to 
demand ot Harlequin, ' What hast thou done with tin brother Pierrot?' All 
this would make the most intrepid hesitate. M. lureinc has performed this 
difficult, not to say impossible task with an icy severity, a pitiless sang-froid, 
an irony superior to late, lie has forgotten nothing; neither the ruddy hole 
nulled m the snow by a drop of warm blood, nor the spangles which sparkle 
on the lozenge-trimmed coat ol the murderer, nor the bears-claw collar ot the 
Indian, nor the formless and battered mask, nor the paint on the lace ot the 
dying man dissolved by the cold death-sweat. 

All this is rendered with a clean, firm, delicate, assured touch which keeps 

always within a perfect contour, and a color that is sober, neutral, wintry, SO to 

I re, .led by the livid, shuddering pallor in the midst of which the clear, 

vivid tones of the costumes produce a sinister discordance. The face of Pierrot, 

who is sobered by the approach of Death, and Irom the dizzj whirl of the 



THE PYRRHIC DANCE 



///•/■ l\/> WOKKS Of // I \ t&OA G&RdMl 



73 



masked ball passes to the Bilence oi the tomb, is a creation oi powerful origin- 
ality; no grimace, no melodrama, no straining after effect. There is something 
in il as dry. exact, and strong as a page "I Merimee. The impression produced is 
the more profound in thai the narratoi appears indifferent. M. Gerdme, like a 
careful artist, does noi leave i" thi fancy oi the gilder the form and ornamenta- 
tion of his frames. lie has himself designed, lor the top of this one. two masks. 
tragic and comic, separated l>> a fool's bauble. Does not Folly dance bi I 
J03 and Sorrow, causing one to he horn of the other'" 

One tnighl think this mastei page oi description hard to equal, \et the critic 
ol the Athenaeum admirably holds his own. tie says: 

The Duel after tin- Masquerade, oi M. GerOme, appeared at the fay end ot 
the last French Exhibition, but too late to receive the universal admiration due to 
its greal merits, and too late to obtain from us more than a line ol notice. The 
scene is the Bois de Boulogne time daybreak; the sky lurid with a dull, yellow, 
curdling toy. The duel has just taken plaee. The one who is pricked to the 
heart is a pierrol one ol those Scaramouch clowns that the Italians introduced 
into France in the days of Bellerose and Gros Gentlareme. His face is a three-acl 

\ reduced to one look : a gray glaze is over the eye thi passionate, sensual 
mouth is just dropping with a horrible, agonizing grimace that eonvevs to vim 
the very gasp and sickness ot the lust sensation ol a vita] wound. The face is 
drawn with the pain ; and from under the white fool's-cap the death-SWeal 
trickles through the white fool's paint still on the vicious cheeks, jusl as rain- 
drops do through tin- silver] mist on a winter window-pane. His leys are thrust 
out stiff and straight in the broad, loose fool's dress, and one hand still holds th 
thin, sharp sword and another clutches at lite. Pierrot, poor. mad. stabbed 
Pierrot, is held in the hall careless aims oi a Due de Guise, in the full white 
ruffles, short blaek coat, and slanted close cap ol that Bartholomean age. Sum 
or eareless. you hardly know which, tor his dark taee is bent with a sullen 
anxiety over the sped man. A Doge oi Venice, in a greal flaunting robe oi 
dowered green satin, with another over it of scarlet, edged with dee]) still gold 
lace, bends oxer Pierrot, groping, with horror in his laee. for the actual orifice ol 
the wound, from which bl.uk small hole ooze, fast and pulsing, dark drops thai 
raci down the looks white dress, over tin.' round cotton tufts thai ornament it, 
and all down the stiffening limbs into a red pool 0D t he trodden snow. Behind 
him is a more conventional face a brothet oi fathei in .1 passion ol grief, his 
hands up to beat his temples or tear Ins hair, to think that here a change is 
coming that no love, or prayer, or enduring, can stop. His long, black, lace- 
trimmed domino trails out behind against the Doge's crimson. The yray cloak 
11I the dying Pierrol and his staring, impudent mask lie beside him on the snow ; 
and then to the right of the picture are the victors, miserable, though they have 
won the game. The red Indian who foughl has his back to us, and is hurrying 

away, conscience-stricken, and already repentant, to his coach that black thing 

that looms through the toy. His second -perhaps his Asmodeus, his prompter, 



74 LIFE l.\/> WORKS Of //-. i \ LEOA i,li;oMi 

his evil genius a harlequin, a mottle ol dull green and red, the spangle and tinsel 
all gone when last night's lamp-, wenl oul with a repentanl stench al the wicked- 
ness they had seen lias him hurriedly by the arm. They arc no longer mere 
friends, thej are both criminals. He tries to cheer him with an ill-assumed 
boldness. 'The thing is.' he says, 'an everyday thing,' and so is murder! 
nothing I accident ' Hut the murderer is already bowed and aged with sorrow. 
Hi has only the selfish satisfaction ol having himself escaped, oh, that it had 
been his arm, he thinks; 01 thai I had disarmed him I bul that grinding thrust ! 
There is the sword dropped as it was drawn from the cloven heart! 

"The harlequin has .1 great-coat thrust on by one sleeve like a hussar jacket, 
just as, hot and fired with brandy, they tumbled into the coach and drove straight 
for the lonely wood outside the Boulevards. How we long thai thai benl man in 
the long, skin cloak and fur hood, with 1 1 I moccasins, and hair tied up in 

a knot, with gaudy red and yellow macaw feathers stuck through, would turn. 
that we might see and profit by his anguish I Well may the frozen trees shake 
their long, black, spectral fingers over the scene -the horrible sequel ol a ni^ht 
oi \ ice. 

And there are two coaches seen through the fog, with the skeleton-look in- 
horse-., lil only lo draw an orphan's hearse to a cheap funeral, with their carrion 
drooping with the night's toil and roll. One coachman is holding up his 
hand in horror at the scene, he wonders if ,m\ one will pay his tare, or if he 
will he arrested, lie does nol like Carrying home the dead fool. The other 
waits and listens, ungesticulating. There, loo. the two lout; paths ol stamped 
footprints in the snow; the one right, the other left They drive round to 
avoid the gendarmes, who don't like lo see two cahs driving together at odd 

hours to the duelists' wood. 

And this is the end of it. Those two trodden plats oi snow, a dead body, 
and a guilty heart, all to come from that war of music and ol voices, that deluge 
ot shouts and laughter and screams, thai whirl ol feet-stamps, that jostle ami 
hell-pool of vicious, leering laces and wanton eyes, thai fog and eddy of colors 
and sound, ol hoi patchouli, ol rose, ol frangipanni, of muslin and ribbons, ol 
fools, goblins, peasant ^irls witches, and monks and all for what? 

"There is an epitome of a hundred passionate novels in this painting, 

which is worthy of M. Delaroche's besl pupil. There is room in it for all 

shades of painting, from the speckle of Teniers to the willowy sweep oi Rubens. 

is room for Vcrnct's impetuosity and \l. Gerdme's care. A liner moral 

mi than this ol M. Gerdme's has not been taught since Hogarth's time." 

Claietie, In some reminiscences of a visit to Chanlilly main years later, 
when he again saw the Original, writes : 

" This picture, which has lost nothing ol its picturesque coloring or dramatic 
qualities, soon popularized the name of Gerfime, till then acclaimed by connois- 
seurs. It was a success without precedent. The 20,000 francs lor which the 
little cuadro was sold, seemed then to have the value oi ^oo.ocxi ol to-day. 



///■/■. WD WORKS* Of // l\ LEON GBROifl 75 

'Phis distressing scene in this dreary winter landscape, this masquerade ending 
in butchery, this ball at the opera looking into the morgue, caused a vivid 
impression, the poignancy oi winch was heightened by the finished execution." 

One mighl easily believe thai nothing could be altered oi added to heighten 
the effect oi this master composition ; but an artist like Gerfime always sees room 
for improvement, and eagerly seizes any opportunity thai may offer for a finishing 
touch. In a letter to the dealer charged with the sale of the replica from which 
the engraving was made, he writes: 

" I learn with the greatest pleasure that you have sold the reproduction oi the 
Duel that 1 have don, for you, and I am all the more pleased since I hear it has 
been bought by a distinguished amateui . one is always glad to know one's off- 
spring is well located. The alterations I have made from the original picture 
have singularly improved this composition, especially in its general aspect ; some 
sacrifices made in the background have left to the premier plan, thai is to say, 
to the important figures, all their effect, and I regret not to have thoughl oi it al 
tirst. when I executed the original. This improvement has been mosl valuable, 
and you would have been struck with it had you been able to see one with the 
other. I havi modified also the head of the savage; it was not well understood 
at tirst who was the adversarj . now it I* plain to every oik and contusion is 
no longer possible. In short. I think I have improved as much as possible on 
my tirst work, and I am happy that it has fallen into the hands oi Mr. Waltt rs 
of Baltimore, since I am told he can appreciate things seriously conceived and 
Seriously executed.'' 

One canvas in this unequaled exhibit still remains undescribed, "a picture,' 
says De Tanouarn, "remarkable tor absolutely Oriental coloring, its grave and 
devotional sentiment, anil its physiognomies, slightly savage, yet altogether 
touching." And Gautier writes : 

" However great the merit of the Duel, we prefer the Prayer in the Hon 

mi Irttaut ( 'hie/, which attracts less of a crowd. There is in this picture a spirit 
of tranquillity, contemplation, ,md com iction that is truly admirable. Tlie scene 
has tor a stage a chamber of thoroughly Oriental nudity: a low divan running 
around walls roughly whitewashed, a ceiling showing all the beams, and on the 
sidi .1 door draped wil h a portiere. rhe floor is partly covered by a mat of plaited 
rushes, which is re-covered by a Turkish or Persian carpet. On the walls hang 
guns, rifles, and muskets oi various forms; a panoply oi battle-axes and yataghans 

is combined with a tall palm; from the ceiling descends a chandelier made oi 
. tilled with oil, like those one sees in the mosques. A small round tabf 
in cedar-wood and mother-of-pearl, in charming taste, supports a three-branched 
brass candlestick holding large wax candles. In the foreground is a lini "I 
babouches, slippers, shoes, and savates, curious specimens oi Mussulman shoemak- 
ing lor the votaries of Mahomet bar their feet lor all the occasions on winch 
Christians unci >\ ei I heir heads. 






I ill i\i> WORKS <n /I i.\ I /:o.\ G&RdMl 

An old ni, m, (il vigorous and venerable appearance, his hands lifted in a 
sacramental posture, recites the suras of the Koran with an aii ol profound faith, 
nun.. I i..w. n. I Hi, I i.i toward that Mecca where are found the tomb ol Ma- 
homet, the black stone, and tin- well ol Zem-Zem. Behind lnni. like pious soldiers 
obeying the commands oi their chief, stand eighl persons in a row, their feel 
touching the carpel ; they are rough fellows, with picturesque and savage counte- 
nances, softened foi the moment by a religious sentiment. A lively faith shines 
m these uncultivated, swarthy, and ferocious laces. Each 
head presents a particular type, with all tin- verity ol a 
portrait. Always remaining within the limits of the 
severesl ait. Ni. Gerome has made an ethnographic 
Stud) as exact as that ol \| \aleno in the provinces 
of the Danube. \l Serres, the 
anthropologist, could lake notes 
from these specimens ol almost 
unknown races with all con- 
fidence. By this scrupulous fidelity, of which he has already given proof in the 
A, . / eation oj the Russian Soldiers, so much admired at the Universal Exposition, 
\l Gerome satisfies one of the most imperious instincts of the tune, the i 
which nations have to become acquainted with each other, otherwise than by 
means ol portraits taken from the imagination, lie possesses all thai is necessary 
to fulfill this important mission : an eye which sees quickly and correctly, a hand 
thai executes learnedly and surely, -writing down each detail with the impertur- 
bable clearness of the daguerreotype, and, above all, a perception which we may 
call exotic, foi want of a more precise term, -which enables him to discover at 
once the characteristics by which one race differs from another. 

"We have had an opportunity of meeting in Constantinople with most of 
the types represented by \l. Gerdme, and we recognize them perfectly. Here is 
really the Arnaut and the Armatole. with their tall, bony frames, their sha\en 
temples, and their lone; mustaches; the Bulgarian already almost a Russian 
wilh his reddish beard and lion-like head of hair, and the Syrian wearing his 
chachyeh all are here, even this lovely blond child, with the silky hair falling 
from underneath the tarbouch,as beautiful as a woman and serious as a man, who 
makes one think of the Greek Imotir. and the Orientates of Victor Hugo A little 
behind this row, a slave joins in the prayer, made, for a moment, by his religion, 
iu.il o| his masters. .All these personages are dressed m varied and pictur- 
esque costumes. The fustanelle, spread like a bell, touches the doliman with its 
straight folds; the elbow ol the braided jacket jostles the flowing sleeve the fez 
and the turban alternate , the pommels of kandjars and pistols bristle in the belts 
oi embroidered morocco or peep out from the folds of a scarf. All this is ren- 
dered with Hi. delicate firmness which is peculiarly characteristic of the artist. 
I'lu almost uniform attitudes are relieved from monotony by slight differences, 
which do not strike one at first Among these believers some hands art 
like those of the chief; others are pendent or resting on the hips; others have 
the thumbs passed through the sword-belt, a posture common to the Orientals ; 



///■/ l.Y/i tl'OAA'S Of II M I iox ,,/'/:, <\n -- 

but ;ill listen to the sacred words with a devotion and faith that should put 
to shame many Catholics. 

"Before this picture, the most perfect as yel produced by the young master, 
i ritic, who never willingly waives his rights, seeks a but ox an <w*(y(like the 
restrictive personage in the Faux Bons-hommes) to qualify the merited praise 
In order, then, not to'miss our calling' let us reproach M. Gerdme with too 
subdued a coloring, arising from a sacrifice to the general harmony, and 
nothing remains to be said, lie has been the first to study the Orient 
painter of history ; he has sought foi style where others, whom we never- 
theless admire, have only looked lor color. Let ns accept then, separately, the 
drawing ol \l Gerdme and the color of Decamps. lie who could unite them 
to an equal degree would he mine than human. II Michael Angelo said. 
What a pity the\ do not know how to draw at Venice!' Titian could right- 
tnlly reply to him. 'What .1 pitj they do not know how to paint at Rome!'" 

W 1 should not be surprised to find some lengthy record in the artist's souve- 
nirs ol this matchless exposition, which exhausted the repertoires of laudatory 
phrases m the vocabulary ol la critique. But he writes simply, "Another of my 
pictures, on which I did not place any great expectations, was painted at this 
time (1857), The Duel after the Masquerade, a composition a little .after the 
English taste, the subject ol which laid hold of the public. Pretty good execu- 
tion ; several bits well treated (belongs to the collection of the Due d'Aumale )." 
And of the others not a word' A proceeding most characteristic of this artist, 
who never loses a minute in conjecturing the effect of his productions or 111 
savoring the applause which might have turned the head ol a less indefatigable, 
less absorbed worker. Long before the crowds in front of these masterpieces 
had begun to diminish he was again at work. And a^ain we have to thank 
\l Gautier tor a faithful chronicle of his labor. 

"The young painter, whose activity is untiring, has just finished (May, 
1858), for the salon of the Pompeian residence ol Prince Napoleon in the Avenue 
Montaigne, three panels, representing Homer accompanied by his two immortal 
daughters, the Iliad and the Odyssey. In the central panel the god-like beggar, 
raising his blind eyes to heaven as if to invoke Mnemosyne, is chanting one ol 
Ins sublime rhapsodies; the young child who acts as his guide stands between 
the knees ot the poet and holds out a wooden bowl, soliciting the charity of the 
l, v (in the two other panels, on a background of anli. pie red. are 
depleted the two epics I I1.1t of llie warrior and that of ihe wanderer. The 

young artist has succeeded in creating something new, even alter the superb 
figures on the ceiling by M. Ingres." 

This beautiful palace has been arranged by tin- government a- a museum. 
and is well worth the attention ol the passing tourist as well as of the art-eon- 
noisseur and student. 



/• s I III [\l> WORKS Of // I \ LAVA GtoOMl 

In a review oi an exhibition "i modern pictures foi the benefit oi the 
'Society for the RelieJ oi Painters, Sculptors, and Architects," we find a notice 
"i ,i charming picture which was also finished this year: 

The Collection t /.u Quite) represents a choir-boy, or rather ;i young 
seminarist, seated againsl a wainscoting, and holding an alms-purse upon his 
knees; the face is gentle, sad, sickly already fatigued by study, prayer, and 
mortification , the weak chest in concealed by the black cassock, and the hands 
clasp each other mechanically as il in an exercise oi devotion. < >ne won Id answer 
for the vocation of this budding young Levite. His eyes, casl down, look al 
nothing, and neither the sound oi a piece oi gold in his purse nor the rustle oi a 
silken robe will caus< him to raise his glance; he is entirely absorbed in God. 
rhi artist has succeeded in putting into this little painting an austere sobriety, 
a sort oi [ansenism oi color. No brilliant tones, no bright lights, no straining 
for effect ; nothing but the dim twilight of the sanctuary ovei a pale, immovable 
figure, already dead to this world, though still young, and awaiting in silence, 
for the poor children of Jesus Christ, the rich man's gold and the widow's mite. 
We are happv to note also an etching oi the young master, a souvenir of his 
travels in Egypt. It is a negress, with eyes halt closed as m dazzled by the sun. 
thick lips, and cheeks as polished as those oi a statue in basalt. \ll this is 
indicated in a few swift and sure strokes of the needle which tell much more 
than all the patient labor ol the engraver's tools. It is a sketch on copper which 
is worth an original drawing The biting ol the acid has changed nothing." 

Well m . i \ the critic marvel at the "untiring zeal" ol the young artist, for 
this same year marked a successful incursion into a new field ol activity, 
which excited even the surprise ol his earliest friend and patron. In /'.Ir/ish 
oi the i6th of Maw 1858, we find the following article; 

" \ few weeks ago we declared that contemporaneous artists, confining them- 
selves too closely to pictures and statues, did not sufficientl) consider the realities 
oi this century. It anything characterizes our epoch, it is certainly the railway 
carriage. One could not find a more significant design to put on the coat-of- 
anns of the nineteenth century. Well ' M. Gerome, the author of the Combat de 
I Intirieur Grec, Bacchus et I' Amour, and of L'Afiothiose d'Auguste, the 
paintt 1 "i 50 antique, so pure, and so rare a feeling, is decorating a railway 
carriage ' We are happy that our assertion has received so prompt a denial. 

" This car has been offered by the Company ol Roman Railways to our verj 
Holy Father the Pope, and nothing has been neglected that would render it 
worthy oi the Sovereign Pontiff. It is divided into three compartments : an 
Oratory, a salon, and a sleeping-chamber. Four angels m gold and silver, the 
medallions of the twelve apostles, and pun Is oi bronze adorn the exterior. The 
salon is decorated with paintings by M. turoine. arranged as follows : 

" Facing the throne, and seated upon a marble bench rounded in a hcmicyclc. 
, 1 1 11 ting on steps strewn with palms of the martyrs, Religion seems to 



///•/■ IfifD WOKKS Of II i.\ I l';o.\ G&RdMl 79 

regard the Pope -her representative on earth". She has as emblem, the chalice, 
surmounted by the radiant Host. Above her hovers the inspiring H0I3 Spirit. 
On either side stand the two pillars oi the Church : St. Peter with the keys, 
St. Paul with the sword. The background is a light, blue sky, the top oi which 
forms the vaulted ceiling which joins the sky ol the two side compositions. One 
oi these paintings represents the Pope surrounded by cardinals and bishops and 
from the top oi .1 pier blessing the approaching steamboat, which connects with 
a trail oi lire the French and Roman railways; the Church is invoking 
heavenly protection upon the -emus ol man. The othei shows us the Holy 
Father making the sacred gesture over a locomotive ready to lake Bight, and 
impatiently blowing off jets oi steam from its nostrils of brass, like the monsters 
oi mythology. 

"We bave expressly described, in then official barrenness, these three 
subjects oi which the latter two would seem unfruitful and prosaic to the 
majoritj oi .mists M. Gerome has, however, succeeded admirably with them. 
The first would only bave to be enlarged to worthily form a hemicycle for a 
chapel; the other two show thai the style lies m the talent oi the painter and 
noi in the theme he treats. 

"The benediction oi the boal has a solemnity without exaggeration, a 
majestic disposition oi lines, an elevated character, which is often wanting in the 
most elaborate oi historical pictures. The cardinals in their purple and ermine, 
the bishops with their white miters and dalmaties oi brocade, the Swiss Guards in 
their mediaeval costumes, respectfully surround the Pope in happy groupings 
which are rich withoul contusion. The heads, some oi which are portraits, have 
a varied and individual stamp, and the sm illness ol proportions takes away none 
oi the grandeur oi character. The Pope laces the sea. \ Inch washes against the 
toot ol the pier, and which is indicated by a coil of chain and masts of ships 
stretching up in a corner of the panel 

"By 1 happy contrivance, which insures variety, the blessing ol tin loco 
motive is taken in profile. The Holy 1'ontill has advanced to the edge oi the 
platform; his immediate attendants hold over his head -real tans ol white 
plumes, and behind him the sacred procession displays itsell 111 line priestlv 
attitudes, oi which the chiefs anion- the Roman clergy seem alone to possess 
the secret, ami which add so much to the impression produced by religious 
pomp. \\ I1.1l noble heads ol prelates and monks, and what dignity among 
these Catholic patricians, even lo the smallest details! 

All this is executed in tin 6rm, distinguished mannerwhich belongs only 
to M. Ger6me, and clothed in soft, harmonious tints, more genuine in our opinion 
than the loud tones which the multitude denominate ' line coloring.' 

"A Holy Virgin with the child Jesus, and the Good Shepherd bearing the 
lost sheep on his shoulders, painted half-length in medallions ol embossed gilding 
in nco-bv /.inline style, complete the decoration ol the interior. Outside, on the 
frieze oi th carriage.are the heads of the twelve apostles, painted by M. Gerfime 

on disks oi gold. It would be difficult to decorate more tastefully and more fitly a 

carriage offered to the Pope. 



8o 



///•/• l.\/> WORKS Of II I \ /K>\ g£r6mi 



"The Pope a railwa) carriage I Strange junction of words which describes 
in H II our age the ancienl am] modern spirit unchangeable tradition blessing 
indefinite progress ' We could fill a column with this theme, bul we prefer to use 
it m betraying the secrets oi the young painter's atelier. 

"While looking at these decorative panels, we peeped out of the corner of 
our eye al some canvases in more or less advanced stages <>i progress.and which 
we are sine will | nod i ice. when finished, a greal impression at the next Exposi- 
tion. M Heroine is not only correct and skillful with pencil and hrush. l.ut he 
is also a man of the most tine and fertile mind. He does not content himself, 
as so many others do, with the commonplace across which he Stumbles; he 
hues varietj in his subjects ami he knows how to treat ordinary scenes in a 
wholly unexpected manner." 

In view oi the extraordinary achievements ot tin-, year, it is with a sense 
of amazement that we consider his exhibit at the Salon of 1859, He seems to 
have been drawn with irresistible force hack to the contemplation id' lite in 
ancienl Greece and Rome, which tor a time had been superseded by his study 
ol Oriental types and customs; and an eaj^er multitude, spellbound before 
this new and thrilling manifestation ot his genius and learning, bore witness 
to the ever-augmenting power ot this lust and foremost ot historical painters. 
Small wonder that these masterpieces should inspire t'.autier to one ot his 
finest efforts in the department of analytic description. In the Moniteur 
I 'niversel, he writes ; 

'The young master who made so brilliant a debut ten years ago with the 
Combat de Cogs, a charming picture, which could have been taken for an antique 
colored bas-relief, has a searching and penetrative disposition ; he is always in 
quest ot uncommon themes. Rarity pleases him ; novelty seduces him ; Ik- loves 
adventures in art and he provokes them at his own risk and peril. It is not he 
who will repeat with slight variations a motif that has been well received, as 
man] painters do who are quick of execution and slow in invention, and who 
reproduce imperturbable the same picture all their lives long. Without having 
written a single line, that we know ot at least, M. Heroine has a literary tendency 
which betrays Itself in the choice ot Ins subjects, in erudition ot detail, and 
archaical exactitude. It is not we, indeed, who will find fault with him for this. 
This kind ol transposition renews the youth of Art. and infuses a little new blood 
into its veins. M. Heroine possesses also the ethnographic perception so neces-~.il v 
to the modern painter to-day. when so many races, which yesterday were un- 
known, sprine, up to the light and enter into the ever-widening circle of human 
types to be analyzed. He has proved it by his Recreation of the Russian Soldiers, 
his irnauts <// Prayer, and Ins Egyptian Recruits. The Cock FightjOaz Greek 
Interior, and the AgeoJ Augustus have shown us how familiar he is with ancient 
times and with what accuracy be can make them live again ; he can even be 
contemporaneous and produce tragic effects with a common carnival brawl. To 




I I.EOI'AT K A AND I I VI 



////• \ND WORKS, Ol // I \ //<M G&R 83 

elevate Harlequin ami Pierrot to the heighl oi serious art, and show the palloi ol 
death beneath the powder ol tin- disguise this was not an easy task. That he 
has succeeded ha. been amply proven, rhis year M. Gerdrne ha- onlj traveled 
in lime' he exhibits three antique pictures: Ccesar ; Ave Ceesar ; Imperator ! 
morituri /<■ salutant, and King Candaules. 

"Ccesar, the largest oi these three canvases, and the only one oi histot 
proportions, engrosses the e] e, as fai as it can Ik- perceived, by lis sinister, solitary, 
and mysterious appearance, even before the subject lias been distinguished. In a 
deserted hall, whose perspective shows onl) the pedestals ol columns and the feet 
oi statues, through the shadows oi evening which are falling, one descries at first 
an armchair overturned upon the steps oi a dais; then, under a mass ol white 
draperies, disordered and bloodstained, a dead body, whose I now is crowned with 
leaves ol beaten gold ; this was Ceesar ! Their task accomplished, the murderers 
have departed, the senators have fled, and in the general stupor no one thinks to 
take up tin- body. The master ol the world lies on the ground, on the spot where 
lu loll, abandoned, alone in the deepening shadows, while without, the city, aghast 
at the frightful aews, is agitated and tumultuous. 

" This manner ol conceiving the subject denotes a reflective ami philosophii 
spirit. The tumuli ol murder would have enticed a less thoughtful painter, and 
doubtless the effeel would have been loss. Besides, M. Geroine has studied this 
composition from several points ol view, and has chosen tin- most sober, thi 
severe, and the most tragic. We remember to have seen on an easel in his 

tiler canvas, where the death ol Caesar was treated in a more anecdotal 
manner, so to speak. We hope that M. 1 ierome w ill finish this picture ol which 
in t aesar, now on exhibition, is onh a fragment, enlarged, idealized, and trans- 
figured to heroic size. The poem should not take the place ol the memory. On 
the large .anas, the impression , on the smaller, the actual truth. 

This striking picture.a life-size study tor which occupies a prominent place 
in the Corcoran Gallery a1 Washington, furnished a theme tor many able pens. 
Massoii, referring to .1 subsequent statement that "Gerome bad manj umes 
clearly shown in various celebrated pictures the philosophic power ol his mind, 

Bays, " The first ol these in dale Was the I Cesar exposed at the Salon ol [859. \\ e 

remember il well . Caesar, alone, dead, lying at the feet oi the bronze statue in 
the deserted Hall oi the Senate before the overturned throne." some amiable 
jesters, some ol those who n\ m painting to he facetious, have called tins picture 
"Washerwoman's Day." We leave the reply to Charles Baudelaire, who was 
very tar from being one of Gerome's admirers 

•Julius Cesar ' What splendor, as ol the setting sun. the name ot tins man 

sheds upon the imagination ' 11 ever a man on this earth resembled the l)eit\ it 

, Caesar. Mighty and fascinating; brave, learned, and generous! All force, 

all i^lory, all charm ' He whose greatness surpassed Ins victories, and who o w 

in grandeur even in death I He whose breast, pierced by the dagger, gave forth 



I ///■/ AND WORKS Of II l\ ilt>\ G£KdMS. 

onl) a crj ol paternal love, and who found the wound ol the steel less cruel than 
the wound ol ingratitude. Certainly this time the him- mat ion ol M. Gi romi has 
vi pi ' i\ i it reached an admirable heighl when ii conceived its Caesar, 
alone, prostrate I" fori his overturned throne, the body of this Roman, who was 
pontiff, warrior, orator, historian, and master ol the world, filling this immense 
and deserted hall This manner ol treatingthe subjeel has been criticised! It 
cannot be too highly praised. The effect is truly grand. This terrible resume 
suffices. We arc all suffii ientl] well acquainted with Roman history to picture 
i<> ourselves all thai is sous-entendu the disorder which preceded and t he 
tumult which followed. We divine Rome behind these walls, and we hear the 
cries ol this Btupid and freed people, alike ungrateful to victim and assassin, 

' Let US make BrutUS, Cesar ' 

\l isson remarks. "This page consoles ns for many absurdities in the way ol 
criticism." We find also in one ol De Tanouarn's thoughtful essays the following 
jusl reflections 

"Lei ns beware ol imagining that it is impossible to render a general idea. 
or the physiognomy of an epoch or a nation, by a single action drawn from 
history, On the contrary, art gains much, and the idea does not lose thereby. 
I need no other proof than that which tieronie himself furnishes. Ills Ccesar is 
assuredly nol a complicated subject ; it is simplicity reduced to its utmost limits, 
since there is on the canvas but a single personage, or rather otih a body ! I>m 
the body is that oi Caesar ' The emptiness of the scene makes one think ol the 
void which the disappearance ol such a man is going to create in the world i 
void which will only be filled by frightful wars and bloodj proscriptions. This 
work is without doubt the best that Ger6me has \ et composed. Possessed l>\ 
a happy idea, he has expressed all the interest and emotion it could po^siblv 
a intain." 

An impressive contrasl to the quietude of this scene is found in that winch 
hears the ominouslv significant title, " Hail, Ccesar, Emperor .' those about to die 
.•ia/i/lr thee! 

" This is the picture [says Gautier] before which the croud stops mosl 
willingly. To see it. ii is almost necessary to fall in line as we did last year 
before the Duel. o honest and intelligent crowd! whom we have so often 
abused when we have surprised thee iii the act of using as a mirror the varnish 
oi some abominable painting! we gladly award thee the praise thou meritest in 

Standing thus before a real work ol art ' 

\I. I'lerome has rebuilt the Roman circus with the unexceptionable science 

oi the architect, the antiquarian, and the historian; never has a restoration 

led belter. It seems as if the artist had lived in the times of the C 
and assisted in person at these bloody games; and. after the representation had 
sketched the principal episodes on his canvas. Where has he found all these 



LIFE AND WORKS OF JEAN LEON GER 85 

lost details, these characteristic paxticulai faded from the memory ol man 
and neglected by history? for such things cannot be invented. 

II re and there a little in the poets and writers.a great deal in bas-reliefs, 
medallions, paintings on vasi sand all the oxidized relics of antiquity, the excava- 
tion ol winch li a crets ol the past. A prodigious patience was 
needful to gather togethei thosi icattered elements; and a great an to group 
them, to blend (hem. and make 
them live. 

" Al the righl ol the picl m e 
nscs the logs ni Cesar, adorned 
by slender columns with red Qui 
ings, gilded on the projecting 
angles, surmounted by winged 

figures "I Victory, and twined 

with golden foliage from which 
are suspended shields bearing 
heads ol the Medusa. On the 
plinth is engraved the name ol 
Vitellius, but even without the 
inscription he would be quickly 
recognized, bending his arm like 
the h pot-bellied vase, 

to lean his fat hand upon his 
knee, a cascade oi triple chins 
falling upon his great chest and 
displaying the amplitude of his 
obese majesty. Near him. the 
Empress, haughty and absent 
minded ; behind him, tin o >ui t 
iers the favorites standing in 
attitudes of respectful familiarity. 

: the imperial loge arc the vestals in their snowy draperies, readj to 

raise ot reverse the thumb which decides for life or death Farthei on, upon 
the benches, divided by staircases leading to the doors of the circular corridors. 
a multitude in varii I and vivid colors swarms up to the region occupied by the 
plebs m their gray tunics. Overhead, held by cords attached to stalls and rings 
of bronze, and decorated with elephants, tigers, and lions, is the immense 
velarium designed to protect the spectators from the sun. No detail is 
forgotten. Red panels color the harrier that surrounds the arena ; il is a good 

oloi the M 1 will not show! In the background is a door m the form ol 

a triumphal arch, crowned bj a chariol drawn by lour horses abreast. By 

this door the dead animals and murdered men are dragged away, lor the 

endings ol this fierce Roman drama have hut little variet) ' 

"Beneath the impi rial loge the gladiators, ready lor the contest, make the 

cilstomai v salute ; the) ale preceded by their impresario, a kind ol pompous 



• Sl > nil \\i> WORKS Of II l\ //.DA G&ROME 

comedian, <>t cruel, cunning mien, coquettishly wrapped in his mantle and leaning 
like .1 dandj on a slender slick. The gladiators wi ige casques, some with 

eyes shielded, others with the visor halt lowered, and others entirely masked, 
iccording to the specialty ol the combatants. Their legs are protected 1>\ cne 
mides ; a wide bell oi buffalo-leather ornamented with a row of copper coins is 
worn like a cuirass, leaving exposed their sturdy chests. Their thighs are half- 
covered by a short tunic, girl up so as nol to embarrass their movements; a 
light shield defends the lefl arm; the righl arm is protected by laced thongs, 
armlets, gauntlets, or iron mittens reaching to the fingers. On their shoulders is 
folded the net ol the retiarius, and they brandish aloft the indent with its 
keen points. Some ol them have not vet lowered their visors, and one < 
their short laces, with the heavy jaws and prominent chin, stamped with 
sullen resignation and brutish courage; by their theatrical aliunde, one divines 
thai the) are proud to perform before the eyes ol so distinguished a public. 
It musi be, indeed, disagreeable foi a gladiator to waste the elegancies oi 
his death-agony on empty benches, or on people who are no judgi 

" In the opposite comer lie two dead gladiators. ( >ne ol them, tangled m the 

meshes ol the net. has noi been able to escape the prongs ol the fatal trident 
the other has a deep wound in his breast, tie musi have been loudly applauded, 
lor he has fallen in the classic pose so well known to sculptors. In the back- 
ground an undcr-servant takes hand fill S ol sand from a basket, suspended from 
his bell, lo soak' up the pools Oi blood in which the led ol I lie combatants might 
slip; a slave, m a striped tunic, throws his hook at a body and exerts his whole 
ih to draw it toward him. Others, preceded by two players disguised as 
Mercury and Pluto, drag t heir victims toward the chaineldiouse ; derisive funeral 
honors paid to the human form ' A ray of sunlight, placid mockery oi indifferent 
Nature, falls precisely upon the bloody funeral procession. All this ceremonial is 
to be seen at the bull-fights in Spain ; bill the mules, with their tinkling bells and 
multi-colored pompons, have only to drag away the bulls or disemboweled horses. 

Man escapes I lie peril b\ In-- brawn and skill." 

De Tanouarn gives also an admirable critique ol this chef-d'oeuvre, and adds : 

"VitellitlS is well chosen as a personification of that monstrous Roman 
civilization, wholly exterior and wholly material. The lusi oi antiquity puffs and 
under this shapeless mass ol tat. this gross exterior, swollen like a leather 
bottle winch threatens to burst. It is thus that historical painting should be 
approached ; it is thus thai an artist, without abandoning any oi the necessary 
plastic qualities or omitting the dramatic and picturesque elements ol an action, 
elevates bimseli lo the dignity of a moralist and a philosopher. It is incontest- 
able thai (ierome is an ingenious painter, learned and profound. lie is a skilllul 
and patient searcher alter ideas; he is nol content that his canvas should be 
clothed with agreeable images he exacts thai it should think/ Never does he 
sei/.e his brushes without a full consciousness of what he wishes to do; if he 
he it 'les, it is only as to a choice of the means which will besl render what his 
intelligence has conceived." 



LIFE \ND WORKS Of //L\ LEOA G&RdMl 87 

Beside this exciting spectacle hung a run. is representing a page oi Greek 
history which had already furnished Gautier with material for an exquisite 
romance 1 le saj s 

"Had we noi an ideal which guarantees us against all self-love, we might 
In- proud of our little antique novelette, 'King Candaules,' which has inspired 
Pradier to make a statue and Ger6me to p tinl a picture. Marble and canvas have 
portrayed our Nyssia in a manner far superioi to the text. The chisel and the 
brush are worth more than the pi a, especially in such hands and when there is a 
question of beauty. Our readers are doubtless .ill acquainted with this bit oi 
history, related in the first place by Herodotus. It offers to both sculptui 
painting a subjed lull of resources. \1 Gerfimi ha recomposed, with thai 
instinct for antiquity which so rarely deceives him, the interior oi thi Graeco- 
Asiatic palace inhabited by the King oi Sardia, concerning winch the archae- 
ologist has had only vague data. Candaules is lying on a bed of sculptured ivory. 
ornamented with bas-reliefs and shields oi gold; upon the walls are drawn thi 
mysterious symbols oi Oriental religions; the feet of his statues still remain 
unsculptured, in the block of stone from Egypt or /Egina ; strips oi wood are 
interwoven to form the door behind winch Gyges conceals himself ; the delicate 
feet of Nyssia rest upon the skin oi the Nemean lion, heritage oi Hercules; the 
artist has left nothing to be desired save to see the profile oi this woman whose 
beauty was so great that her own husband betrayed its sacred perfection. The 
form, from which the drapery is just slipping, is exquisite in its divine Mar- 
morean pallor." 

The moment chosen by the painter is that when Nyssia is disrobing and 
making a sign to Gyges to rush forward and kill her traitor husband. This 
scene, where offended womanly dignity takes ltspist revenge upon treacherous 
sensuality, is treated with the chaste nobility of pose and expression to be found 
m all this artist's paintings from the nude, which excite only admiration for the 
pure artistic beaut) oi contour and plastic grace, Yet ii is almost a relief to turn 
from these themes, that gripe the heart and stir the emotions, to the tranquillity oi 
ih Irnauts Playing Chess. The thoughtful countenances bent over the board 
air drawn with the perfect skill that has so often been commented on. and which 
renders these types with all the truthfulness oi Nature's modeling. The imper- 
turbability o! the Oriental character is will illustrated by the attitudes of the 
players, who betray no emotion over the game. I '.am or lose? What call it mal- 
lei ' " What will be. will be," and they clisipiiet themselves no more as to the Out- 
come of the passionless contest than they do Over the smoke that rises sKadih 
from the chibouk and vanishes in the air. Idle, with its struggles and aspira- 
tions, its joys and agonies, what is it all save a faint fumie now here, now gone ' 
There is bin one end, resistless, inevitable ' The boast of the king is strangled in 
his throai as the poniard is driven home with deadly thrusl , the iron-muscled, 



//// AND WORKS Of II I \ I li>\ ■.! RdMl 

iron-hearted gladiators succumb aol onl} to Roman cruelt) and power, bul to the 
Conqu( nil ,,i ,,|| flesh, and, gasping, cry to him also " Morituri te salutanl i i 
Caesar falls and who can tell where he now lies, or trace the "noble dusl oi Alex- 
ander"? It is doubly interesting to know whal the artisl bimsell thoughl ol 
these creations, thai compelled alike the serious and the frivolous to stop and 
admire We return to his notes, where we find allusion 
onl) to the two most important in this exhibit. He writes : 






"In 1859 I exposed the Gladiators before Ccesar I Mori- 
turi), which I consider, with another canvas oi the same 
nature (Pollice Verso), as my two best works, The firsl was 
looked al sufficiently, bul I do not think n achieved much 
success. H hile painting it I had nol al m\ disposition .-ill 
tin.' documents that I since have gathered together to work 
up the second. It fails from certain archaeological points 
<>i view, and in this respect the fault is a grave one; for, 
in truth, the gladiators were exceptional beings, who 1 
bled in no wise the soldiers ol that period; wearing odd 
helmets and enormous arms, offensive and defensive, ol a 
\cr\ peculiar charactei and form. In Mich a case, verity <>i 
detail is important, for ii adds to the physiognomy and 
gives in the people a barbarous and savage cachet, a1 once 
strange and striking. I have said before that this painting 
was not a very great success, and yet the composition was 
new. the dramatic side well represented, and the whole 
effect well enough realized the restitution of the circus 
with its velum was thoughl out with much care. 1 will say 

but little Ol the second. It appeared much later, when I hail asseinlil 

possible information that could contribute to its exactness. I think it better 
than the first in many respects; it has more oi the accent ol truth, and renders 
mine clearly the brutal side ol these Romans, by whom human life was counted 
as nothing. At the same time [1859] I senl out from my atelier the Death of 
Casar, which some amiable critics have called 'Washerwoman's Da) !' I myseli 
am no eiieun oi quiet gayety, and I recognize and appreciate the comicality oi 
this joke ; but, all modesty aside, ihis composition merits more serious attention ; 
the presentation of the subject is dramatic and original, it is a small canvas. 
which could havi been executed on a larger scale without losing its character; 
which I cannot say oi man] oi im works." 

Commenting on this \cr\ passage, Bergeral says : 

"One should read and re-read this confidential page, written so freely and SO 
easily, tor it is a model oi impartial, learned, and honest criticism. Il contains 111 
a lew words GSrdme's entire 'aesthetics.' Once again, 1 say, every one is not 
capable "i thus passing judgmenl on himselt ' Erudition playsa great role in the 



QUJ-;iMv\s QUEJVJ DEVOEET 



LIFE AND WORKS Of //■ M LEOA GER&M1 *9 

work ol the master, and all thai lu- says of the exactness of his casques and armor 
tor his gladiators applies, equally, to all the paintings he has signed, especially 
during later years. I find the modern naturalism, so peculiar to all the great 
minds of our time, in this insatiable passion lor archaic truth which distin- 
guishes the productions of this painter. But 1 had always believed that in 
Cieronie the ethnographic gifl took the place of scientific acquirement, and thai 
Nature had done everything for him. It remains proved henceforth that not 
only has he the instinctive sense for the antique, bul that he possesses il a 
scholar who keeps posted in all the discoveries of critical history. What distin- 
guishes him from the scientist, and constitutes in him the artist, is thai he 
subordinates the document to the idea, and not the idea to the document. From 
tlii — point of view, the painting called Potlice Verso is not only his chef- 
d'oeuvre, hut ,i chef-d'oeuvre. The scrupulous exactitude of the slightest de- 
tails contributes so greatly to the effect of the imagined scene that it is 
adorned with the certain dcliuilencss which renders a thing absolutely seen so 
impossible to forget, so unchangeable, created for all time. It is the ideal of 
success in Art. 

"It was about this time [adds Bergerat] that Cicrbme presented himself 
seriously as a candidate before the Academy, his name having previously figured 
on the list as a mere formality." 

A certain M. llesse. of whom we never hear, was tin- candidate ol the 
Institute as opposed to the progressive party, which was led by the Comte dc 
Xieuwerkerke, at that time Superintendent of the Beaux-Arts. Hesse gained 
the election by one vote, but (icrome was more than compensated tor this 
postponement of the reward due his conspicuous merit, by his appointment as 
Professor in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts— a position he still holds through pure 
love ot teaching, as the salary is merely nominal and the time spent with his 
beloved pupils means to him a financial loss ot many thousands ot francs. 

He allowed two subsequent elections to pass unheeded. \ third vacancy 
occurring, he consented to -land again and was elected -but. as Claretie observes, 
'without concessions on his part." And he adds: "Concessions are unknown 
to G-erome! From head to loot he is upright and resoluti 

The year [860 was one of intense application and preparation lor the Salon 
.,i ,86i and during this year we find chronicled the appearance of only two 
pictures, /« Italian Shepherd and the Donkey-hoy of ( airo. In the first one we 
davi i picturesque reminiscence of a sunny clay on the Campagna. A passing 

flOCk ol sheep follows close at the heels of its guardian, who enlivens the way 

with a ritorm Ho on his bagpipes, while his faithful dog, from a corner ol his eye. 

keep- watch over the dusty animals, which are painted with a fidelity thai 

a Verboeckhoven tnighl envy. Tis a well-worn theme, but Cerome's treatment 

redeem- it from the commonplace, and almost invests it with the charm of 

originality. 



///■/ l\/> WORKS OF JEAN LEON GERdMl 

In the solemn, priest-like youth, with classic draperies, who posed for the 
Donkey-boy during Genome's first visil to Egypt, we have a perfect type oi this 
indispensable accessory oi Oriental life. When not lazily awaiting their patrons, 
brigades oi these gamins de Caire may be seen charging through the streets, 
yelling vociferously and belaboring the patient bourriquots at every step. We 
find an amusing description of these donkey-boys in an account of the hrst sortie 
a lane through the streets oi Cairo, which a merry hand under command ot 
"Colonel" Gerdme made in i s< > x . As an old soldier on this field ot battle, the 
master laughingly regards the half-terrified amazement ot the raw recruits. 
among whom is Paul Lenoir, his favorite pupil and inseparable companion during 
a long sojourn in the wilderness. It is he who is to embalm their mutual impres- 
sions m a volume which delightfully describes this eventful journey through 
Egypt to Sinai and Arabia Petraea, ami which is dedicated to the master in the 
ti > 1 1 1 . w ing graceful lines : 

"l)i\i< Master: Permit me to oiler you these tew notes of a journey 
whose greatest charm and value lay m the tact that it was made in your 
company and under your kind direction Egypt is your property; tor ll 
science and archaeology have been able to reconstruct it by its hieroglyphs, you 
alone have translated its admirable light and brilliant animation, which they 
could not understand. Recalling the days we passed together in the desert, I 
\enture to ask a^ain the indulgence you then accorded the youngest of your 

cara\ an 

" Your respectful pupil, 

"I'm LeNOIK." 

Behold this joyous student then, in Cairo, tor the first time, clutching his 
reins and digging his heels into his little donkey, in a desperate attempt to 
preserve his equilibrium. 

"Chmalak ' Ycmmak ' Reglak ' We are rushed into a human whirlpool 
from which rises an indescribable tumult, increased by the howls and cries 
of these gamins, who. by well-directed blows, urge on our asses till we attain a 
rate ot speed positively astonishing and. in view of the crowded condition of 
the streets, not a little disconcerting, Cavaliers, carriages, men. women, 
children, ilo^s. and long files of dromedaries attached to each other, are massed 
in seemingly inextricable confusion 

"Chmalak ' Reglak ' Twenty times in our frenzied course a moving cathe- 
dral of a cam. I bears down upon our demoralized band, taking up the middle 
of the street' Twenty times our marvelous donkeys succeed in avoiding a 
collision, which would have been as disastrous lor these little beasts as tor us. 
Truly these animals have the instinct of circulat ' 

\nd not only the animals, but their dusky drivers, who dodge in and out 
under the leet ol the horses and camels, never losing an opportunity to bestow 



///■/■ AND WORKS Oi II I \ l/n\ i.i.Ai'lll 91 

a sounding thwack on their respective asses as they rush wildly on. dis- 
playing, it must be confessed, considerable "method in their madness"; foi 
the} bring up their patrons at one of the gates leading ou1 oi the city, without 
broken bones, bul past all power ol speech, to the intense amusement oi theii 
"Colonel," who, arrived the first, tranquilly smokes as he awaits the various 
detachments of his disorganized command! lint we must leave for a time 
this gay company, of whose adventures we shall later be a daily witness, and 
return to the Salon ol 1861, where six varied and powerful canvases gave impos- 
ing evidence oi the fertility of conception and unremitting labor of the master. 
Timbal comments on this pi I in his career as follows: 

"Certain works indicate a culminating point in talent which the artist 
scarcely ever surpasses; the Duel of Pierrot seemed such a one. It rapidly 
became popular; reproduced by the painter himself, and many times by engrav- 
ing and photography, it is remembered by every one lint this species of su 
has its danger, and it is often well to look it in the lace, to weigh it. and nol 
permit one's sell to be overpowered by it. How many people, without ill-will, 
recall it at each new effort, as if it had become impossible for the artist hence- 
forth to surpass himself' Gerdme knew how to cope with praise' Besides, he 
n in. inhered other compositions of his, less looked at, less piquant in invention, 
but which serious critics, and he himself, ranked above the Duel. Indeed, with- 
out pretending to diminish in the slightest degree, by comparison, the value oi 
this moving picture, we venture to place beside il the simple idyl of The Straw- 
Cutting, which seems an illustration contemporary with Herodotus, or a leal 
taken from a chapter of the Bible. This juxtaposition proves in Ger6me com- 
prehension of Nature, and the flexibility of an imagination which has been 
accused oi sterilit) lb roams thus at will m ever) path, halting not more 
willingly before a bloody drama than before a field ol wheat gilded by the sun ; 
indifferent, it you please, by force of eclecticism, and bewildering the psychologj 
ol those who love to confine within certain limits the sensibility ol the soul, 
which, it seems to me. should rather receive all shocks and. it possible, rendei 
back all harmonies. " 

This exquisite pastoral poem oi the Hache-pailU . which so impressed Timbal, 
appeared at tin- Salon of [861. Gautier writes of it : 

" We greatly love the Straw-cutting in Egypt. Its almost priestly seriousness 

harmonizes well with the talent oi the painter \n Egyptian, grave and tranquil 
as the melancholy Osiris, guides around, over a circle ..1 sheaves, a car built like 
a throne, drawn by two buffaloes and rolling on metal wheels ; behind him, like 
an aoeris behind a Pharaoh, is a youth, also in profile. One would pronounct it 
a drawing from a necropolis in I'hebes ; and nevertheless il is ,1 faithful sketch 
of a living reality. A dazzling sun, throwing its rays over the yellow disk oi 
sheaves, which irmiiids US oi the golden circle ol ( >s\ Tnandias silvers the 



<i-' UFA l\/> WORKS Of II i\ IK>\ G&RdML 

beavens and tints the horizon with rose. What grandeur and what solemnity in 
this simple labor oi agriculture! The drawing is as firm as an incision in 
granite the coloring as rich as the illumination oi a sacred papyrus." 

As further prooi oi the versatile genius oi this greal artist, there hung bi 
this Oriental idyl a picture oi Rembrandt Etching in his Atelier, which Timbal 
pronounces one oi his besl works, One oi those which with justice should 
silence those critics who arc unable to recast their foregone conclusions, and 
who, without taking into account the artists claims, or even his progress, con- 
tinue to reproacb him for being an archaeologist wandering from his spb 

The Rembrandt was a gem oi purest quality, and all the connoisseurs oi the 
time were in a ferment oi admiration over this unexpected revelation oi tone- 
power. Gautier charmingly describes the scene: 

The light, falling from a high window and filtering through one oi those 
frames covered with white paper, which engravers use to soften the glare oi the 
copper, creeps over the table, touches thi bottles filled with water or acid. 
diffuses nselt through the chamber, and dies away in obscure corners in warm. 
mysterious half-shadows. Rembrandt, clad in black and bending over the table. 

reflects the lighl on a plate in order to ascertain the depth oi the incision. Noth- 
ing more. Hut here is genuine mattei foi a painter's brush; light concentrated 
on one point and diminishing by imperceptible degrees, starting with white and 
ending with bitumen. This is equal in value to am literary or spirituelle fancy, 
and Rembrandt himself has scarcely portrayed anj other, in his pictures or his 
etchings. The plate which he is in process of biting probably depicts a scene oi 
this genre. The Rembrandt is a marvel oi delicacy, transparency, and effect 
Never has M. G6r6me shown himself more oi a colorist. This Pompeian, this 
painter a I'encanstique, this illuminator of Greek vases, has achieved at the tirst 
essay the absolute perfection oi the Dutch masters.' 

Still another note in this far-reaching but harmonious chord, that, transpo 
into different keys, vibrates with new power and richness. Now it passes into 
the minor, and reveals to us the pale, inspired features oi a great representative 
ol another phase oi Art. 

'•The portrait oi Rachel [says Gautier | is at the same time a portrait and a 
personification. Tragedy has blended itself with the tragedienne, the Muse with 
tress; draped in red and orange, she stands erect under a severe Doric 
portico. Somber passions, fatalities, and tragic furies contract her pale counte- 
nance. Yes, if is Rachel sinister, savage, and violent." 

De Tanouarn also writes ; 

'This portrait has not only the merit ol great individual resemblance.it is 
the austere and noble image of Tragedy itself. And truly, Rachel was traged) 
incarnate, passing through living realities of the epoch like a pale .mil majestic 
phantom." 



LIFE AND WORKS Ol f/ IX //.OX GiROMI 95 

This impressive canvas hangs in the historic collection oi the Theatre 
Francais, and never fails to arrest the eye by its weird and melancholj grandeur. 

And now come three scenes from the antique, the firsl ol which, under the 
title Two Augurs cannot Regard each Other without Laughing, suggests with 

consummate skill the case with which p ■ credulous human nature lias been 

imposed on from time immemorial Behind the scenes, these two accomplished 
hypocrites indulge to the full their contemptuous merriment, while the awe- 
stricken populace without, silently pondering the utterances of the Oracle, obedi 
ently submits reason and will to these clever impostors, who, with only a change 
of garb and ritual, still number their followers by the thousands in our so-called 
enlightened age ' 

"The Two Augurs," says Scott, in his "Gems ol French An," "entitles 
Gerdme to the highest place as satirist as well as painter." 

The most hrilliant epoch in Greek histon furnishes the artist with a theme 
for his ne\i canvas Socrates Comes to Seek Alcibiades in the House of Aspasia. 

■Such [says Gautier] is the title of the second Greek picture ol M. Gerome. 
Alcibiades lounging on a conch beside Aspasia does not appear greatly inclined to 
follow his master, which can easily be conceived; philosophy is not worth as 
much as love above all when Aspasia is the inspiration, A young slave, an 
artful, roguish beauty in transparent drapery, tries to keep hack the spouse ol 
Xantippe, and on the threshold ol the door an old woman smiles sardonically 
In the foreground a magnificent hound stretches himseli out the same dog 
whose tail Alcibiades cut to furnish matter for Athenian gossips. No specialist 
111 animals could achieve its like. Placed as he is. he gains perhaps too much 
importance, but the dog of Alcibiades is himseli a personage and not an 
accessory. The background represents an atrium decorated with that antique 

legance SO well understood by the artist. It is a restoration, in every sense ol 
the word, of an exquisite rarity, and evincing a knowledge that in no wise 
ts from the effect. The figures stand out boldly against the architecture, 
luminous and gay with many colors, in which one can find no laiill save perhaps 
that ol too much richness. Idle Athenians reserved all then luxurious decoration 
for their public buildings, and their dwellings were very small ; but Aspasia. the 
renowned adviser and later the wife ol Pericles, could well indulge in these 
Bplendors." 

In the Phryne before ///<■ Areopagus, an equally celebrated and more dramatic 
historical episode is illustrated with inimitable power. Some critics ol this period, 
jealous ol the tide of admiration which surged in one direction, leaving their 
favorites with scanty appreciation, soughl for some means to diminish the general 
enthusiasm, and could find nothing better than to assume an .hi oi outraged 
modesty and loudly protest against these paintings as being at variance with the 
, tchings "I the Christian religion! Their attitude oi offended virtue was so 



96 //// ■ A \ (>/■ II i \ /n<\ (,ii:,nii 

visibly feigned and even ridiculous, and their position so altogethei untenable, 
thai the] were soon silenced l>\ the verdid oi the besl critics, which verdict Time 
has confirmed. Bergeral justly rebukes them for their prudery, He says : 

" I '.mil. i and .mIih nil ui Antique < rreece, h would have seemed to Ger6me, to 
sa\ the least, audacious to ascribe to the conti oi Alcibiades sentiments 

\\ In, li Christ did not prea< h to the world till a century after the death oi Aspasia. 
He was not responsible for thi fact thai Athenian society admitted the courtesan 
as one "I its fundamental elements and regarded her existence as one of their 
most serious principles of conservation. M wean interested in Socrates we can- 
non Aspasia, and i1 we celebrate the justice oi the Areopagus, we cannot 
luitted Phryne on the simple revelation of her beauty a national 
beauty, the remembrance and softening influences oi which have survived for 
ages " 

The painter has well chosen the moment when Hyperides puts the crowning 
toui h to his eloquenl defense, and gains his cause by revealing to these worship- 
ers oi the religion oi pure beauty the matchless charms oi the Athenian Bute- 
player, whose perfect form was reproduced l>\ Apelles in his Venus A-nadyomene 
and by Praxiteles in the famous golden statue oi the Temple of Delphos rhi 
charge oi impiety and irreverence toward the gods, punishable by death, could 
never have been sustained in the face of the incomparable loveliness which, to 

Superstitious heathens, was alinosl a prool 01 the divinity Oi its possessor. 

The instinctive gesture oi the astonished Phryne, the varied emotions of the 
equally astonished tribunal, the triumphant glance oi the successful orator, the 
floating drapery every detail is rendered with a skill thai leaves one at a loss 
for words that shall bring fitting tribute. The dramatic intensity oi this scene is 
given with all the artist's characteristic power, which raises him so far above 
contemporarj artists. Criticism has long since ceased to cavil at the subject, and 
the Phryne oi Gerome lakes rank with the finest creations oi antiquity and 
surpasses them in dramatic grouping and emotional delineation. 

In an interesting and original volume entitled Sententiw Artis, by Harry 
Quilter, M \ , a well-known English critic, we find the following comparison: 

"1 feel inclined to deny true imagination to Mr. Why Because I 

should do so to an) man who imagined the body and forgol the soul ; who gave 
me the face oi antique life, bul nol the heart. It is not probable thai it any ol 

us had aud e with Agrippa, or w itnessed the death ol Cassat , we should think 

oi palace- marbles firsl and the living emperor afterward. To use a theatrical 
imagi ill. actors in this artist's paintings do nol ' take the stage. Compare his 

work in this respect with that ol turonie. In most ol this painter's works, it we 

examine them carefully, it will be found that mosl of the effect depends upon 
the painting of suddenh arrested action. In nearly ever} picture there is a 



UFE AND WORKS OF Jl GEROMB. 



• 



pause oi action. We bold oui breath, as ii were, to see wliat is coming next. 
We can only poinl this oui ; like manj another incident oi arl it cannol be 
proved to those who do nol feel it.'' 










The Fine Arts Quarterly Review, oi London, referring to the Phryne says: 
" It is needless to insist on the consummate art-power which in such compositions 
attacks difficulties that lessei artists would simplj evade. A hand for drawing, 
an eye for both idea] beauty and indi- 
vidual character, together with thorough 
technical knowledge, arc proved in this 
work." And Claretie writes: "In the 
smallest picture, in the least oi his draw- 
ings, Ger6me shows the hand of the 
master. Certain studies taken from 
Nature lor his Phryne would form an 
incomparable frieze tor the cabinet ..i an 

amateur, as finished as any antique." 

It was after the Salon of [86l that our 
artist, wearied by his immense efforts, 
and haunted, waking and sleeping, by 
visions from the enchanted "land of the 
sun.'' yielded to his passion for travel 
and organized a party which, under his 
intrepid leadership, penetrated far into 
the then little known regions of the 
n Desert. His notes furnish us with 
a condensed hut graphic account of this journey, revealing anew his keen 
powers oi observation and reflection in regard to both physical and mental 
phenomena. I Ee writes : 

"Aboul this time I undertook another journey to the Orient — to Judca. 
Egypt, and Syria. We were seventeen days crossing the Desert of Syria. It was 
ill- first time that I had ventured into the desert. Our caravan was well organ- 
ized, though not •''' In." \\ e had supplied ourselves carefully with every- 
thing necessary to our material existence, above all with Nile water, a precaution 
all the more import. mi tni i we took with us four horses, and we were obligi I 
to load the wall i these animals were to consume, on the backs ol the camels 
twenty-four liters a day, multiplied by seventeen, made 408 liters. Happily 
at El-Arich, the last Egyptian station, there was a well when- travelers could 
renew their supply. In very lone; crossings, it is impossible to take horses; 
besides, camels are admirably convenient, since one is nol obliged to occupy one's 
self so seriously with their food and drink, Once arrived al the encampment. 









<<S ///./. i\/, WORKS Of //.l\ I IM\ (,//,<>]// 

they arc loosed, and they instantly sel ofl in search oi both. Thej always find a 
certain flesh) plant, with narrow leaves, the interior ol which contains a certain 
humidity, and winch serve al the same time as food and drink. They can there- 
fore make several long marches withoul being watered, bu1 they drink dec], when 
the) find opportunity. Theii spongj feel arc admirably constructed for the 
yielding soil. They spread them over the sand and are thus enabled to sustain 
their bea\ \ weight, while the horses and the asses sometimes sink in up to their 
knees 1 I n ■ camel is trulj a ^h i i ■ in this deserl sea. 

"Nothing could be mon agreeable, more poetic, than our encampments in 
this solitude, with its added charm ol novelty and the unknown. Although 
fatigued by long marches in the full blaze ol the sun, I began my work with 
ardor as soon as the halting-place was reached; bul alas' how many things I 

* forced to leavi behind, onl) a bare memory ol which 1 could take av 
who prefer three touches oi coloi on a canvas to the most vivid ol memo 
But one musl always press forward and lei ones regrets ride en croupe/ 

" In spite of the charm oi tins desert life, I am hound to say thai al the end 
mi ,, certain number oi days, when one catches the firsl glimpse ol cultivated 
plains, when one meets again one's fellow-mi is a very sweet sensation ; 

and the sight ol a green prairie really green rejoices one amazingly. .Approach- 
ing in the direction of Gaza, we passed suddenly from utter barrenness to a fertile 
country; there were pomegranates in blossom, orange, lemon, and palm trees; 
we found again life and labor in all Us phases hut no gates! Samson had not 
returned ' 

ral leagues from Jerusalem we pitched our tent, tor it was already late, 
and we wished to start very early the next day. B\ daybreak we were en route. 
hut were suddenly assailed l>\ the most terrible storm I have ever in my life 

endured. Al a turning in the road (our road was the lied ot a torrent !) a gust 
ol wind almosi overturned m\ horse and me. ami one of my comrades, who, 
fatigued by riding, was trying to gel on bettet afoot, was forced from time to time 
to i ike oil his riding-boots and empty them, lor the water, running in at his 
collar, literally filled them. 

"On our arrival, the tempest was still raging ami it was impossible 
to pitch the tents on account ot the violence ot the wind. For want of more 
suitable refuge, we hastened in to Saint-Sepulcre.'va a horrible state, wet to the 
skin and chilled with the cold. Hut we forgol everything before the strange- 
ol the spectacle which met our eyes. It was Good Friday, and all 
was in a state oi preparation tor the Easter Festival, Pilgrims from all tour 
, ol the earth were there gathered, nav. jammed together; sonic sin^- 
ing in procession, others silent in prayer; others still, having constructed 
tilde lodgings with planks, between the columns, were swarming there with 

their wives and children foi a certain curious tradition guarantees a peculiar 
blessing from God upon children conceived in these holy surroundings. We 
elbowed Armenians. Greeks, (.'opts. Russians, Roman Catholics in a word. 

all t bristian sects who came there, not oidv to adore and supplicate the 
Mo I High, bul also, and above all, lo declare that tllev execrated each 



LIFE AND WORKS (>/■ // i\ i/o\ GERdME 99 

other : For in truth it is seldom that these leasts pass by without blood bein • 
shed upon the flagstones oi the Temple, and two or three corpses being scattered 
on the ground ' Ami then the Turkish regimenl thai mounts guard, fully 
armed, crosses bayonets and clears oul the place' In order to avoid this 
dal, each of the faithful of late years is searched al the door and relieved ol 
his knife and .in > other offensive weapon, so thai now these devotees ol the 
Christian religion are forced to fall back on insults, hustlings, and knockdown 
blows with the tisi ' I was neaih strangled in one ..i these affrays, which I 
found only moderate^ attractive; tor I was nol oi the number (which really was 
not small) who, old and decrepit, make long journeys in order to die al [em 
salem ami he interred on the banks <>t the Kedron. Those who have religious 
sentiments, and wish to presi rve 1 hem unsullied, will do well no1 to \ isil the H0I3 
Sepulcher at this time. 

"The character oi the country is desolate stones everywhere, scanty vege- 
tation, olive trees of rickety shapes twisted by the tempest ; hut it is not a 
commonplace country, When one has once seen it. one can never forgel it. 
rhe citj has also its own physiognomy: swarming and very agitated at the 

ison, gloomy and silent at any other time. An excursion ot li 
six days is sufficient to make the tour ol Judea, which is really the banlieue 
(suburbs) ot Jerusalem ; everywhere moiirnfulness ami barrenness, even on the 

banks ol the Jordan, above ill on the shores of the Dead Sea, 1 1 1 lying in 

low ground, in a heavy, burning atmosphere. We passed Lake Tiberias, on,' ol 
the spots much frequented l>\ Jesus, and made long stretches, now on hot 
back, stopping al Baalbec, within the inclosure or rather the ruins ol the city, of 
imposing grandeur, but whose style denotes an epoch ol decadence. The most 
curious point there is a very ancient wall, each stone ot which has proportions 
so formidable thai one wonders what machinery the Titans oi thai period 
possessed, to be able to bring these huge blocks from the quarry. 

" Arrival al Damascus alter a two days' march. It was the crown and end ol 
mil journey, as Cairo had been the beginning. Damascus! Cairo! the most 
remarkable cities o| ihe Orient ; those which have remained longesl untainted by 
the impure breath of Europe. 1 speak ol the Ion- ago,' lor since then C.iio. lias 
been disfigured, and this Khedive, who has laid his sacrilegious hand on thest 
relics, will have a terrible account to render to \llah ! 

••| worked but little ai Damascus, for I was very fatigued by the journej 
In midsummer the heal was tropical, and so much the more insupportable, in that 
the city is surrounded by mountains covered with immense trees, which slop Ihe 
circulation ot the an and om mffers much during the warm season in sp 
the numerous brooks thai furrow the ground in every direction, I was present at 
a very curious Jewish least given l>\ a neh hanker, where a large number ol 
women were smoking their narghilehs in astonishingl} dicollek costumes, 

■ I on rich divans in immense halls of very elegant a i eli i led ii re. 

- li. i lo tng these notes 1 want to tell you oi a touching episode which 1 

witnessed at [erusali m. Oui k nut one oi his friends, also a cook, in il 

vice of some travelers who were encamped close beside us. This friend, who was 



IOO ///■/ / VD II .'A'A'S 01 H • \ I I <>\ ,,/ ; 

still young, bad quitted Ins home in Bagdad two years before, leaving bis old 
mother there alone. At the end of this time, the poor woman could no longer 
overcome tin.- longing to see her child. She set off without money, withoul 
resources, on foot, attaching herseli to the differenl caravans she met, living on 
charity. Mid thus sin- made numerous and painful journeys, seeking ber son. 
Bui where shall she look, for she is absolutelj ignoranl of his whereabouts. Is 
be in Egypl or Syria or Greece; in Turkey or in Arabia? In Europe, 
Am, i. in Africa? She knows not; but, sustained by hue, she walks on! 

and still she walks on. 

Allah had pity on her and 

permitted her to meet ber 
well-beloved son at Jeru- 
salem." 

I >n these same noti s, 
hastily jotted down l>\ Hi 
artist as ••reminders." Her- 
geral comments as follows 
" Their autobiographical 
interest is thrown into the 
shade, so to speak, by their 
physiological value, and for 
him who knows how to 
read and judge a man by 
his style, no portrait could 
more exactly reveal the 
personality ol G6r6me than these few pages of pen sketches. Incisive clearness 
ol vision contends here with the taste dominant in the character; ami th( 
the two master qualities of the painter. As he writes, he paints ; the philosophy 
ol art is the same. Remark how his eye is caught instantly hy the decisive 
note oi objects or scenes, that he subordinates surrounding details, and that his 
thorough education as a painter aids him to select at a glance the desired effect 
out of many." The return voyage was saddened hy the death of one of their 
little hand. Duhais, who was sorrowfully interred at Trieste. This lon^ journey 
ol eight months was followed in January, t86a, by the marriage oi GerOme to the 
beautiful daughter ol Monsieur Goupil, the well-known head of the most impor- 
tant art-publishing house in the world. Atur the wedding-journey of two 
months in Italy, they returned to the charming hotel which GerOme had con- 
structed on the Rue de Bruxcllcs. which now forms a part of their present 
i' tdence on the Boulevard de Clichy, In his artistic and commodious home the 
ma i' i often recalls with a smile the little servant's chamber under the root m 
the Rue St. Martin, which he occupied as a poor Student when he tirst came 



LIFE AND WORKS Ol //. ; \ LEOA GEJ 101 

to Paris. He <li.ni ^ d allcrwanl to an old house in the Rue de l'Ancienne 
Comedie,— the former site ol the Theatre ITaneais, -where he obtained a more 
comfortable room directly opposite the old Cafe Procop, so much frequented by 
\ oltaire. He was finally able to take a tiny, Obscure atelier, hut slill an atelier of 
his own. in the Rue de Sevres, where he painted the famous Combat de Coqs. 
The artist who occupied this memorable studio afterward, meeting (ierome one 
day. assailed him with a flood of questions as to how he had been 'able to exist 
in that black, gloomy, frightful hole I" The master, genuinely surprised, replii d 
"I did not have time to notice all that ! It was gay enough for me. foi I 
remember we laughed and sang a great deal' From this dark little studio he 
went to the Rue de Fleurus, where several of his comrades eame to live with him. 
among them Eiamon, Picou, and Schoenwerk the sculptor. From there to the 
Rue Duguay-Trouin, then surrounded by open fields, and where his drawing-room 
was the street ! for there he received all his visitors when it was too dark to work 
and he could not afford lights. It was about this time that he was playfully 
accused of living "like a Sybarite"— a good-natured sarcasm which has been 
taken au grand serieux by several critics ! The father ol the painter Toulmouche, 
one of his best friends, finally constructed an atelier for him in the Rue Notre 
Dame des Champs, which he occupied until his marriage, and where he painted 
many of his j^reat pictures. Menard ^ives us a graphic description of life in this 
gay atelier, an invitation to which was eagerly sought for. 

" \1. Gerome's Studio has always been frequented by a '_;reat number of artists 
and men of letters. When he was living in his boite-a-the (the name given by 
painters to a sort ot Japanese house in which was his studio), he was the center ot 
a large group of young men who surrounded him with gayety. In the evenings 
there were improvised fetes in which wit and humor made Up for the absence ot 
ceremony. The studio was further enlivened by an enormous monkey, whose 
only fault was a determination to paint like all those about him ; this, however, 
rious, as he was not always satisfied with painting upon his own pictures, 
Inn sometimes daubed over the works of other artists! Then there was a burst 
of indignation, but the saucy monkey contrived always to get forgiven on account 
of his thousand tricks and farces, and to gel the laugh on his own side. There 
were several studios for painters in the same house, which, moreover, was near 
the Luxembourg, a quarter where artists congregate in great numbers. As 
groups ot painters are always formed by a sympathy in tendencies, the friends of 
I l ri mine were generally little inclined toward realistic innovations. Then had 
been some noise made about some lar^e pictures by M. Gustave Courbet. which, 
ii. i without merit, somewhat resembled caricatures, and certain theorists exalted 
very loudly the manner of the painter. Naturally, a different opinion prevailed 
amongst M. Gerome's friends, and this led to the representation of a parody ' de 
circonstance,' acted in the studio, and in which a certain ' Realiste' exposes his 
doctrine in these words : 



■02 /.//•/■ l\/> WORKS Of _// M L£OA <./,, 

" ' Faire vrai, ce n'esl rien pour etre realiste , 

i est faire laid qu'i] faut ' or, Monsieur, s'M vous plait, 
Tout ce que je dessine esl horriblemenl laid! 
Mi peinture esl affreuse, el pour qu'elle soil vraie, 
J'en arrai tie le beau, comme on fail de I'ivraii ! 
J'aime les teints terreux, et les nez de carton, 
Les fillettes avec de la barbe au menton, 
Les trognes de tarasque e1 de coque-cigrues, 
Les durillons, les cors aux pieds, el les verrues ' 
\ oil. i le vi\ii I 

" This criticism oi realistic doctrines might be somewhat sharp, but it was an 
answei i" the sarcasms continually thrown from the opposite camp upon the 
.utiM-, who drew mosl oi their subjects from antiquity." 

Menard's mention ol the monkey, which was Gertme's property and his 
especial pet, reminds us oi a comical stor) that we have from the artist's own lips. 
[acques wis an unusually bright specimen and Ins master was indefatigable in 
training him, especially in regard to his manners " at table,"where he was often 
vi t oi the little company, lie could nol Ik- cured, however, of certain 
marauding tendencies, and soon G6r6me was obliged to pay damages in the 
neighborhood for uprooted flowers, broken windows, and like mischief, A collar 
and chain thenceforth kept M. Jacques indoors and in order. One daw having 
succeeded in breaking his letters, he made his way slyly through the open sky- 
light into ih.' street. His absence was not remarked, till his empty chair at the 
noondaj dejeuner called attention to the fact that he was doubtless en route for 
further costl) adventures. Hastily clapping on a hat. Ger6me rushed out in 
pursuit, inquiring ol every one he met, news oi his fugitive property, lie traced 
him as far as one oi the Grands Boulevards, and there, on turning a corner, 
he discovered a crowd gathered in front ol the immense ^lass window of a 
fashionable restaurant. Naturallj gravitating in that direction, his astonished 
eyes beheld M. Jacques, with napkin decorously tucked into his collar, gravely 

seated at a t.ahle where a /• 7, •-,/-/. Vc break last was ill progress, regardless ol the 

energetic protests oi the gentleman, or the dismayed shrinking of his fail 
companion ating by a furious chattering any attempt on the part of the 

convulsed gargons to remove him from his comfortable seat! Repressing his 
merriment by a strong effort, Gerfime entered the ca/6, and courteously apol 
ogizing for the intrusion of his "familiar," captured the uninvited guest, who 
meekly submitted to be borne away amid the cheers and bravos oi the amused 
spi . tators ' 

In spite of the hilarity thai enlivened this period ,a his life, the artist's habits 
oi tead) application were too well confirmed to be affected to the detriment oi 



III! ixn WORKS Of p ■■ l.\ lit>\ G&Rt 103 

his work, and in his more luxurious quarters in the Boulevard de Clichy he 
did not alter bis rigid rule of early rising and almost uninterrupted labor till 
sundown. 

Connoisseurs, and. indeed, the general public, bad learned to look eagerly for 
Gerome's exhibit at the Salon, confidenl ol finding the wherewithal to satisfy eye 
and hearl the senses and the imagination. The Salon ol 1863 was no exception 
to the rule. Varnishing Day beheld a delighted throng almost equally divided 

before tour canvases, passing from one to the other with ever-increa 

admiration lor the infinite versatility and flawless execution more and more 
apparent at each exhibition. Perhaps the longesl pause was made before the 
Prisoner on the Nile, one of bis best known Oriental souvenirs. The London 
Athenaeum characterizes n as "a marvelous work, one oi the most poetical we 
know of and a noble example ol execution," and another writer m the same 
review adds, "The picture in question is so brillianl and solid thai its illusion is 
almost complete, and thai result is obtained without the sacrifice of any noble 
qualities to mere imitation." 

Maximo l)n Camp says ; 

"The scene takes place in Upper Egypt, on the Nile, not far from the village 
of Luxor, with the imposing silhouette of the Palace "i Vmenophis stretching 
along the horizon. In several strokes of the brush M. ( ierome has shown 
perfectly, to those capable of understanding, the state of Egypt, where a dreamy, 
gentle, submissive race is tortured daily by its ancient conquerors, more uncivil- 
ized, more vicious, and less intelligent than the vanquished." 

I ii.irles Blanc gives a more detailed description ot it : 

"The Prisoner is a little masterpiece. Hound, and lying crosswise in an 
i nan bark, the captive is borne on the Nile to his final destiny which 

doubtless is decapitation by the saber. Urged forward by two oarsmen, one c,l 
whom is a strong-armed Nubian, the craft Hies like an arrow ovei th< placid 
waters in the twilight. 'The master, girdled with poniards and pistols, broods 
over his vengeance, and looks steadily before him with half-closed eyes, a glance 
of cruel joy flashing from beneath the long lashes that veil them. It reminds 
me ot Richelieu dragging Cinq-Mars off to the gallows in a boat on the Rhone. 
Meanwhile, a youth with languishing glance and equivocal mien, an effemin- 
ate stripling ot low degree, sings, while thrumming his mandolin, as it chanting 
by order a death-song in mockery of the prisoner's sufferings. The heavens are 
cloudless; nature calm and happy; the I'haraonic temples embellish the distant 
banks of the stream and trace on the still, clear evening sky their solemn and 
eternal silhouettes. Yes. this picture is a masterpiece. Nothing should be 
changed in it .absolutely nothing ; ne varietur." 

Philip Gilbert llanierton bears eloquent witness, in the Fine Arts Quarterly 
Review oi London, to the manifold power ot the master. He - 



104 



///■/■ AND WORKS OI- ji i \ ii,,\ GtedMl 




<>-UJ/ 



Here is a Frenchman who seems to have all the good oi English Pre- 
Raphaelism with none of its . QC e. He is as minute as Holman Hum 

himself, omitting absolutel) nothing thai ran be told in paint; yet Ins detail, 
however marvelousl] studied, is always kepi perfectly subordinate to the mam 
purpose. His picture oi the Prisoner represents a boat on tin- Nile with an 
unlucky prisoner in il bound hand and foot. The rowers are a wonderful study, 

their muscular shoulders and 
arms wrought out to the utmost. 
'i down to the swelling sinews 
"I the wrist, whose strong cords 
conduct the power ot the 
and chest down to the hands 
that grasp the oar. There is so 
much masterly drawing in every 
bit of this work, such perfeel care, 
such loyalty to tact, that you 
cannot find one thoughtless touch 
m it. The distant shore of the 
Nile is a lesson for a landscape 
painter ; the polished ripple in 
the calm water, and the long 
drawn reflections are full of 
delicate truth ; the sky rij^ht in 
color and painted, it seems, at 
once. A curious property of this 
picture, and which goes far to 
prove its consummate truth, is 
that the Spectator has no idea at 
first that it is minute work, for 
the details, being modest and in 
their right places, do not continu- 
ally cry aloud See what a multitude we are!' as details are too much in the 
habit of doing in England. After gazing at the picture for the minutes we 
begin to discover that it is full of minute facts, which we had not seen, and 
it we go to the picture every day for a week, we shall always find something 
new in it." 



\ 






Timbal takes up the theme as follows: 

"It has been said that (icrome contents himself with seizing on the wing 
a picturesque scene; thai he transfers it to the canvas without commentary, 
without seeking to add any other attraction than th.il nl a vigorously faithful 
transcription. However, it would seem that the author of the Duel of Pierrot 
can overleap, when he pleases, the limits within which he often voluntarily con- 
fines himself, and even when he remains a simple painter ot manners and 
customs, he succeeds still in being something more. One evening, walking on 



GRAND BATIJ AT BEOUSSA 



//// l\/> WORKS Of [EAN IJ.dX <///, 105 

the banks of the Nile in the twilight, he was looking a1 a boal drifting down the 
river over the silvery, trembling wavelets, Seated in the prow, an Axnaul was 
singing to the stars, accompanying bimsell on the quzla. Was not the theme 
sufficient? The painter, however, with the interior eye oi his imagination, 
beheld there an actor who would double the interest ; on the rower's bench he 
extended a pooi slave, his hands and feel closely confined by letters. Blow. 
balm} breeze! thou passesl over meadows the prisonei never mor hall tread; 
shine, o lighl of heaven! on these eyes soon to close forever; and thou, exe- 
cutioner, insult thy victim by voice and gesture! Here are contrasts which 
more than one painter could render with equally skillful brush, hut the heart <>i 
a poet alone will discm er them, and without having to owe a debt oi gratitude to 
the chance which has furnished them !" 

The assertion ot \I.1\1me l)u Camp, that, to be successful, G6r6me "must 

seen with his own eyes," thai "he imagines \ ery badly bul remembers \ ery 

well," is silently bul effectual^ refuted by dozens ol poetical conceptions, among 

them tins picture of the Prisoner, which was re-exposed in 1867, Heroine makes 
characteristic mention ol it in ins notes; I la Prisoner (now in the Museum 
at Nantes) had a universal success, being admired by both connoisseurs and 
idiots ' " 

In The Comedians, the artist has revived lor us a scene from the earliest 
periods of dramatic art the trying on ol mask^ representing every possible 
phase of emotion, the use ol winch preceded the cultivation ol facial expression 
on the pari of the players themselves. Two actors arc critically regarding the 
effect of a most lugubrious mask which one ol their confreres is holding before 
his placid countenance. The shelves of this curious antique vrecn-room are 
1 with these different canvas visages, on which all the passions ot the soul 
seem to bi pi trifled. Truly G6rome can make not only his public hut his actors 
literally laugh and weep at will ' The drawing, coloring, pose, and grouping 
id details, which ne\er detract from the breadth ot style, are carried to a degree 
oi perfection only attainable by a master mind and hand, 01 the Turkish 
Butcher at Jerusalem, a marvel of color and finish, which was also re-exhibited 
in 1867, Gautier writes i 

"Here is a vonih with charming, melancholy, dreamy mien, leaning idly 

1 tin' wall of his stall, where the different meal-, arc suspended from hooks, 
irele, at Ins feet, lie the hi ids "I his « ICtims, shi ■ p oid -oats, who seem to 

: him mournfully from the depths "i their glassy eyes. The butcher is a 
genuini fatalist he pav-, no attention to these mute reproaches; he kills with- 
out cruelty, just as he would do anything else, and would no doubt as calmly cut 

the throat ot a man as of a sheep Surrounded 1>\ thi i lead animals, he 

abandons himsell to .1 kief, in which he beholds the v isions of the Thousand and 
One Nights. Nothing could transport one morevividlj 10 the Orient than this 

little picture, which could he covered by one's hand." 



///■/• \ND WORKS 0/ 1 1 I \ L£OA G&ROMI 

Moliere Breakfasting with Louis XIV., the closing picture oi this quartette, 

as skillful in n ni'iii as u is varied in incident, gives us one oi those 

thai reveal Gerdme's peculiar power oi seizing and expressing the finesl nuances 
oi emotion. The ironical bonhomie ot the king as be administers this stinging 
rebuke to the snobbish prejudices oi In favorites; their surprise and wrath, 

I il\ concealed by the majoritj undei an obsequious deference, and openly 

displayed by the outraged pillar oi the Church . the mingled dignity, embarrass- 
ment, and enjoyment <>i the guest, who can so thoroughly appreciate the 
humor <>i the situation, piquant enough to have been taken from one 
.■I in- own inimitable comedies, .ill is rendered with matchless ability. 
Hamerton writes 

" The picture oi Moliere a1 the court ol Louis XIV. is an astonishing piece of 
work : so thoughtful, graceful, and refined in. conception, so exquisitely perfect in 
lecution. The incident is that famous one when the king gave a lesson to his 
proud courtiers li\ inviting Moliere to eat at Ins own table, since they considered 
him unfit for theirs. Perhaps Louis was the more honored oi the two when thi 5 
sat thus together ' but the courtiers did nol think so. In their view, the king had 
lost ill sense oi dignity when he let that playwright eat with him. Every face 
is lull oi expression, the Icing's beaming with malicious enjoyment at the sen- 
sation lie has just eivateil ; Moliere, already seated, is bending modestly forward, 
with his two-pronged fork in his hand, to attack the viands in obedience to the 
royal will. The pale bishop in the corner, with the violel vestments, is especiall] 
indignant, his lace white with anger and full ol scorn ; hut the king is not in a 
humor to he frightened by anybody's cross looks just now. As to the execution, 
it is enough to say that everything is honestly drawn, down to the embroidei 5 on 
the stockings, with firmness and accuracy, yet no undue emphasis. Every detail 
ted patiently and respectfully. There is another picture of precisely the 
same incident by a clever painter, M. Leman. His interpretation is lively and 
skillful, but a careful comparison ol the two pictures only makes Gerdme's greal 
quality more conspicuous. That quality is best expressed l>\ the French wand 
distinction. It is more than refinement ; it is consummate grace joined to 
perfect knowledge." 

notes barel] record the appearance oi these tour pictures, which 
created so much enthusiasm, and also mention without comment the exhibition 
al the Salon ol 1864 ol a portrait ol a friend, M. A. I'., ami L'Almie, an Oriental 
scene, at that epoch more striking from its novelty, hut since become familiar to 
the world who thronged to the late I niversal Exposition of 1889, and watched 
with amazement the strange contortions of the Khedive's ballet de l'Ofiera,who 

came to Paris to capture the plaudits and the gold ol the assembled nations. 
Every one who has seen this singular exotic dance can hear witness to the 
absolute veritj ol the painter's canvas, Gautier writ 



LIFE AND WORKS OE/EAA LEOA GEl 107 

"There is always a crowd before the Almie oi M. G i curious picture 

which is like a corner oi the Orienl in a frame. En one oi those smoky hovels, 
where one takes coffee, squatted on rush mats, an Almie is dancing before some 
Albanians with their strange costumes and fierce mien. Dwellers in the Orienl 
havi very peculiar ideas in regard to dancing; the sighl oi a well-turned limb 
and ankle, or gauzy skirts raised bj a dexterous movemenl oi the fool all this 
would seem to them the heighl oi extravagance and immodest] bul provided 
that the gold-spangled slipper nevei leaves the ground, they permit thi mosl 
voluptuous undulations and puses of the body, sensuous mm ements oi th< 
and waving of silken scarfs, languishing glances.and the head rolling from one 
shoulder to the other as it intoxicated with love. This Terpsichore, with her 
eyelashes stained by k'hol, and her nails reddened by henna, has nothing in 
common, as one perceives, with the Terpsichore of the opera The Almie oi \I. 
Gerome is executing one oi these dances. Her vestoi yellow satin incloses her 
form like an antique cestus, her trousers oi a pale rose-mauve taffetas, wide and 
pleated like a skirt, envelop her from waist to ankle. She advances by imper- 
ceptible displacements of the feet, undulating the serpentine lines of hei 
her head lying on Iter shoulder like a turning dervish in an ecstasy, and keeping 
time l>\ a nervous jingle oi her crotales to the chant which the musicians. 
m the shadow . .11c droning oui i" ill accompaniment oi the rebeb,\ht tarbouka, 
and a dervish's Bute. The Albanians, with their Kelts bristling with a perfect 
arsenal oi pistols, kandjars, and yataghans, and wearing on their heads caffiehs, 
whost cords and ta-^cls halt conceal their countenano -look at her fixedly, as 
impassible as kites watching a dove, while a negro, smiling from ear to ear, 
abandon.-, himself to his delight and applauds the dancer while marking tn 
her. In the background we perceive the kawadji, occupied with his stove ; at the 
left, through the open door, we have a glimpse of Cairo, the blue oi the sky 
gleaming oddly through the tine carving of the moucharabys. 

"We know to what a point the ethnographic sense is developed in M. 
(icrome. No artist seizes as well as he the typical accent of races, the local 
character of costumes, the exotic variety of accessories. With respect to all these 
points he exhibits an intimate and pi Qi le g ac< urai \ . oi w Inch one could ha\ e 

no doubt, even wen one unacquainted with the countries represented by the 
artist-traveler. The Almie is oi an astonishing truthfulness in point of type, 

md attire Hei bracelets, her strings oi sequins, her gold-embossed girdle, 
display the coquettish savagery of Arabic adornment. The toilel is complete . 
nothing is wanting, not even the carmine on the nails, the black line under the 

-ad the little blue tattooing on the chin. Even in this genre picture, one 
divines the painter oi history bj the science of the drawing, the purity oi style, 
and the masterly taste which presides over the slightest details." 

Idle Salon of [865 was rich in the elaboration of several ol her sketches taken 
on Hi,- last journej through Egypl and Syria, notably the Prayer in the Desert, 

winch Bergerat justly ranks among "Hie puresl and loveliesl -ems in his superb 

Oriental casket." No description can possibly convej more than a shadow oi the 



///■/ i\/< WORKS <>/•// I \ lio\ GiROMl 

beaut) ni this scene. Up hum the easl comes a seemingly interminable caravan, 
reluctantly quitting the coolness ol mountain passes to face the glare of the open 
deserl and the level bul still powerful rays ol the setting sun. Here is no 
muezzin to warn the faithful that the hour for prayer has come ' yel the warlike 
leader, ever mindful oi his oft-repeated duly, has thrown himself from bis horse, 
wlio turns quietly t<i nibble at a tufl <>i grass, while his master, lacking the 
requisite carpet, unfastens his mantle and spreads it upon the burning sand. 
Then removing his sandals, and turning toward the city of Mahomet, he bends 
his head and with humble reverence calls upon the name of \llah and bis 
Prophet. Ihs lance, carelessly thrust into tin- ground, points like a minaret to 
the misty blue heavens and serves as guide to the horsemen who are urging 
their weary steeds over the plain toward the bill in the foreground, while the 
patient camels move slowly and heavily forward over the endless reaches of 
w bile sand which extend to the loot of the dimly outlined range of mountains in 
the background. In spite of the color ami movement, here is tin- same intense 
stillness, the overwhelming loneliness, the same penetrating sense of distance 
and space, of poetry ami mystery, which takes possession of every one who 
studies Gerdme's pictures of the deserl. Add to this a religious feeling 
thoroughly appreciated and reflected by the painter, and we have one of his 
most expressive compositions in this genre. We almost feel that we are travel- 
ing with him through this Syrian wilderness, which he faintly outlined for us 
in the notes we have quoted. 

In the Muezzin at Might, which the Athenaeum praises for its "tone. 
softness, solidity, and admirable expression." there is the same strong, genuine 
religious feeling, line ion are loneliness and space, but it is the loneliness ol 
the night, which intensities all emotion, veils all defects, and reveals beauties 
hidden by the midday glare; and space, through which the reverent soul can 
upreacb past unknown worlds and touch the Infinite. The unquestioning faith 
of the Moslem, as well as the picturesque contour ol his postures while al 
worship, deeply impressed our artist and became a favorite theme. In / 
on the House-top, he gives us another phase almost as beautiful as those we 
have described. Gautier says: 

"In this Prayer M. Gerfime has not needed to exert much effort to make a 
delicious picture. It is evening; the gold "i the sunset meeting the twilight 
azure, produces one ol those greenish blues, like the blue of the turquoisi 
i|. lii in and rare tone. The moon faintly outlines its silver crescent, and the 
minarets, tapering like ma>i> of ivory, send out from their high balconies the call 
ol the muezzin, 'El salam alek, aleikoum el salami' A vague, soft light falls 

Upon the terraces ol Ihe whitewashed houses, where the believers. Standing, 

kneeling, or with their foreheads bowed upon their carpet, recite theii pi 




THE SI 



///•/ AND WORKS Ol /I IX i/o\ (,iiio\ll ru 

and chanl the glory oi A.llah, the eternal, solitary, and only one, in the solemn 
attitudes of Oriental devotion which the artisl excels in rendering. The 
impression made by this little canvas is profoundly religious. Alter the work, 
the heat, and the dissipation oi the day, the evening descends, bringing to souls 
and to Nature, calm, freshness, and serenity. Islam, filled with faith, confides 
itseli to God for the coming night." 

In the Arnaut, Smoking, we have a picturesque specimen ol an Albanian 
taking his ease on a wide divan as be lazilj pulls awa} al his narghiUh, having 
kicked ofl his savates, and drawn up his feel under his snow-white fustanelle. 
The lighl filters through the lattice-work ol the moucharabieh and touches 
11 1 > the long mustachios and swarthy breast, the jeweled handle of the kandjar 
thrust into his sash, and the multicolored embroider} ol the cushion on which 
he rests his elbow. It is a picture lull ol rich and harmonious tones. 

Side by side with these glimpses ol far-away and uni 3 seen in their 

native surroundings, we find anothet ol these strange Eastern t} r pes transplanted 
into the verj centei ol modern civilization, and presenting one of the strongest 
possible contrasts, as to costume and manner, thai history ever furnished lor 
a painter's brush. The Imperial choice fell upon Gerdme to render this 
extraordinary scene, and, little as il was to his liking, he has achieved a success 
where almost any oilier artist would have been obliged to chronicle a failure. 
Gautier describes this canvas as follows: 

"The Reception of the Siamese Ambassadors at the Palace of Fontainebleau, 
of M. t'icromc. keenly piques the curiosity ol the visitors to the Salon, and one 
is forced to wait one's turn to see it. Indeed, it i> a strange spectacle, these 
ambassadors crawling on all lours over the carpet toward the throne. M. 
ne was qualified above all others to depict this singular scene: be bas a 
profound knowledge oi exotic races, and a marvelous grasp ol their peculiarities 
and dispositions. Picturesque ethnography is ol very recent date, and is 

the modern conquests ol ait. 

" When the old masters had foreign subjects to paint, they contented 
themselves with types ot pure fantasy, and local color did not trouble them in the 
slightest degree. These deceptions are no longer admissible in our time oi 
exact information ami easy travel. Nothing can he more fantastic than this 
procession ol swarthy creatures, robed in costumes glittering with gold and 
embroideries, which advances on hands and knees, in postures impossible to 
European articulations, toward the Emperor and Empress, whose kind gravity is 
maintained despite the odditj oi n le. 'in the steps ol the throne are 

deposited imperial parasols, stuffs interwoven with gold, delicate fori ign jewelry, 
and all the fanciful luxin j oi thi extreme Orient, One cannol sufficient^ 
appreciate the exquisite cue and exactness with which the artist has rendered 
the figures, costumes, and jewels oi the strange embassy. In front is a youth 
with shaven head, complexion of gold, and eyes like black diamonds, who is 



112 LIFE AND WORKS Of // l\ I i:o\ GE.ROMI 

creeping along so gracefully, and lifts his bead with so droll an air, thai ii is a 
pleasure to look al him. One would say it was a Cupid, who, through caprice, 
has disguised himself like a grotesque l>ii ol Chinese porcelain, 

"Beside the carpel which is being traversed by the Siamese notabilities in 
these batrachian attitudes are the great personages of the court, the famili 
the Ch&teau standing erect, calm, grave, disguising a half-smile under their 
official seriousness, each faci being perfectly recognizable. The maids of honor 
to the Empress are grouped near the throne. A.1 the other end oi the hall, in a 
corner near the edge of the canvas, the artist, a necessary witness of the scene. 
has represented himself as standing next to Meissonier. The frescoes of Prima- 
ticcio, discreetly subdued to give mon value to the leading motives, are visible 
in the half-shadow oi the background, which they people with their vague sil- 
houettes. It would be difficult to treat this quainl subject more skillfully than 
M. Ger6me has done. It the glittering and gilded costumes of the ambassadors, 
with then Asiatic richness, nuke the tamiliar European attire appear insignifi- 
cant, the blame must not be laid on the artist's palette. The abruptness ot 
contrast was inevitable." 

As Gautier remarks, all of these officials that surround Napoleon 111. and 
the Empress Eugenie are easily to be recognized by any one familiar with the 
entourage of the court at this epoch; but the difficulty under which Gerome 
labored in painting these portraits can scarcely be conceived by the uninitiated. 
It is partly illustrated by the following anecdote, related by Timbal, for the 
absolute verity of which we have heard the mister \'ouch more than once. 

lino day, one ot the personages to whom was assigned the honor of ti^- 
uring m the picture of the Ambassadors, arrived very much later than the hour 
indicated by the painter. ' Impossible to have you pose to-day.' said the artist, 
a trifle \e\ed at this carelessness and the loss of time; 'I am expecting the 
Duke of I'— ; he will be here at three o'clock, and il is now ten minutes "I 
three.' 'Oh. well!' replied the delinquent, with nonchalance, 'you ha\ 
minutes! work quickly, for I shall not be able to come again!' Alter that. 
accuse portraits of lying or the painters oi want oi fidelity or skill." 

The same steady, quiet work went on during this year and the next, pro- 
ducing for the Salon of [866 three canvases, the most important oi which, 
Cleopatra ami Ccesar, has achieved a world-wide renown. A paragraph from 
Plutarch's Life oj Caesar furnishes the key to this marvelous picture: "Cleo- 
patra embarked in a little boat and arrived by nighl before the Palace ol 
Alexandria. As she could not enter withoul being recognized, she wrapped 
Ii. rst II in a carpel which Apollodorus bound with a thong, and which he caused 
to be conveyed into the presence of Caesar by the verj door of the palace. This 

ruse "I t leopatra, it is said, was the Inst ball hv which (.'.esar was taken." 

The exquisite form ot Cleopatra, rising from the folds of the beavj rug 



LIFE AND WORKS OF //./.\ /./'.OX GERdME 113 

like Venus from the billows of the sea, is bfoughl into strong relief against the 
swarthj skin oi the slave who lias borne in on bis sturdy shoulders this living 
freighl of fragrant beauty. \n appealing glance from the mournful ryes of 
Egypt's vanquished Queen meets the astonished gaze oi Cassar, as be lifts his 
head from the manuscript be is perusing and ill 1-- said ' The picture is 
fraught with suggestion, fascinating the eye tti.it loves to linger over beautiful 
contours, and. still more, one that can read between these eloquent lines. This 
canvas was also exhibited in 1N71 at the Royal 
Vcademy in London, of which Heroine wis 

made an Honorary Member. 

We bave already alluded to the Door of 
the Mosque El-Assaneyn, where Salek Kachei 

exposed the heads of the rebel beys he had 

put to death, which appi art d also 

hi 1 ... (ierome here indulged his 

. .! fun by giving to se\ era! oi 

these heads the features of some 
well-known 1'arisians who bad not 

made themselves particularly agree- 
able to him ' A prominent critic 
lied him for his frivolitj . 
but the joke was hugely enjoyed 

by the public and especially by his comrades, who th (roughly appreciated this 
good-humored and artistic revenge. This canvas was also re-exposed in 1867. 
There are more than four hundred of these mosques at Cairo, this one ol 
a, or El-Assaneyn, or El-Hacanin, as it is indifferently called, being the 
largest and most elaborate. I.enoir. who visited it for the first time with 
(ierome. refers to it as follows 

"The mosque is. par excellence, the rendezvous oi prayer; according to its 
importance it corresponds to out cathedrals or to the simple countrj church. 
The minaret is its steeple. I torn whence the muezzin summons all the faithful 
to prayer by the languorous chanting of several verses from the Koran. The 
always elegant cupola oi these edifices corresponds to the site ol the tomb ol the 
caliph, sultan, or rich personage who has constructed the building. Varying a 
little in their interior arrangement, they are nearly all constructed in the same 
manner : a large, square court with its perist} le. 111 the center ol which is the pool 
for ablutions; in the sanctuary, called the tnihrab, a sort of richly ornamented 
cvhos' Gothic niche is invariablj turned toward Mecca, stands the menber 
or preacher's chaii which is of ten a real chej d'eeuvre oi 31 ulpture and decoration. 

I hi Mosque ol the Mameluke Sultan llass.m dominates the entire city ol Ci . 

by its colossal proportions and absolutely purr Vrabic style, it is undoubtedly the 



M) /.//■/ i.\/> WORKS, Ol /!l\ il<>\ G&ROME. 

mosl beautiful mosque in the whole Orienl ; neither St, Sophia, nor all the 
massive edifices oi Constantinople, can be compared to it. It is situated in front 
of the citadel on the Place Roumelieh. A door, the height of the building, leads 
into it trout a lateral streel which runs into the Place. Marbles of every shade, 
connected l>\ arches, and ornaments of bronze set on the elegance ol this 
principal entrance. Thousands oi stalactites, forming niches, stretch up half the 
entire heighl and gracefully melt awaj where < rossbeams ol carved wood sustain 
.1 wondrous collection oi lamps of glass and ostrich eggs, m. lil\ colored. 

" We go up several steps and then descend several others, finding ourselves 
on the same level in a long galler] adorned with stone benches on either side. 
It is the antechamber of the mosque ; al the extremity oi the imposing hall are 
stationed cawos and guards. This mysterious and terrible prelude only renders 
more striking the marvelous spectacle which confronts our immediately; an 
immense court, in the form ol a Greek cross, is occupied in the center by a most 
picturesque Saracen structure. Sustained by columns ol porphyry, and sur- 
mounted by a brilliantly decorated cupola, this little octagon pavilion serves only 
to shelter the pool for ablutions. Opposite the entrance a colossal arch tonus a 

vault, a smaller repetition ol winch is indicated on the other side oi the 
court ; it is the sanctuary, erected one sic|i higher than the rest oi the i 
Ai the ends oi long chains, thousands oi lamps seem to descend from heaven and 

i from afar the appearance of a shower, or a trellis suspended in space. At 
ill- bottom, and always turned toward Mecca, is the mihrab, richly ornamented 
with precious mosaics, paintings, and arabesques. 

rhe preacher's chait is equally a masterpiece of sculpture. Green, red, and 
yellow flags brought hack from Mecca, hum trophies ol brilliant colors on each 
side Innumerable votive offerings are covered with a medley ol objects .md 
inscriptions. On each side, large square platforms, less high than the menber, 
serve as stalls fot the ulemas and young dervishes, for whom these place: 
exclusively reserved. Finally, mattings and rich cupels cover the remainder oi 
the marble pavement and preserve the feet oi the faithful from contact with its 
glacial surface. The colors winch preponderate in the general ornament 
ol mosques are green and red. agreeably alternated in arabesques and many 
other designs. The religious inscriptions are generally painted in blue or golden 
characters, on immense hoards, with a green background. When new, this 
superb mosque could certainly not have possessed the mysterious poetryit has 
to-daj . and. without heme a lovei of uncleanliness. I believe that tunc alone can 
blend so marvelously these colors winch originally must have been \er\ glaring. 

\l the right of the mihrab, a little low door, concealed by a black curtain 
embroidered with gold, gives access to the immense chamber which corresponds 

to I he exterior cupola. Il is here where the tomb of the Sultan I lassan is placed ; 
a grating of forged iron and a second barrier of painted wood isolate this square 
stone from the rest oi the hall, which is in a most complete state ol nudity and 
Looking up into the air, one is terrified by the height of the vault. 
Enormous stalactites garnish the angles to the point where the Gothic form of 
the dome commences to accentuate itself, giving to this cupola the aspect ol an 



/.//'/■ I \ l> WORKS Ot II M LJtON GSrOME 115 

immense hive, where the owls have installed a clamorous colony. Every day a 
pari oi these wooden decorations and massive sculptures detaches itsell and 
falls wiili a crash, Far from trying to prevenl this danger, the \rabs consider 
11 .1 favor to be struck l>> one oi these celestial tiles, which will send them 
straight to Paradise, The sheikh, who rather doubted our religious fanaticism 
and our eagerness to see the Prophet, invited us nut to prolong our visit to this 
locality, exposed .is we were to the caprice of these sacred showers. 

"The dominating impression in a visil to the mosques is the exclusively 
religious and almost poetic charactei oi these buildings. They are not oui 
smari Parisian cathedrals nor our imitation Greek temples real theat 
devotion at the hours of service. Seeing all these Arabs, silent and grave, 
prostrate themselves before the wall ol the mihrab, I could not help thinking oi 
my dear parish oi the Madeleine, where the one o'clock i i embles so nearly 

a. premiere at a theater, that some people actually give up the races at Long- 
champs to attend it ' At Cairo, there is fanaticism, it you please, hut true 
religious faith, and its manifestations here have aoneoi the elegant and frivolous 
piet} "i our Catholic mosques. The beadle and the pew-openers have n 
tige in the Orient, and equality before God is there scrupulously observed; the 
dirtiesl donkey driver invokes Allah on the same carpet as the most richly 
caparisoned sheikh. To laugh, to blow one's nose, or to sneeze would entail the 
most serious consequences upon the offender, and Heaven knows it we deprive 
ourselves at home ol these diversions | i assisted several limes at the reading 
Oi the Koran, hut I never saw any one asleep. St. Paul Innisell could not 

achieved a greater success!" 

The Muezzin, which hung beside the picture of this beautiful mosque, 
shows the sheikh standing ^\\ one ot the balconies of the minaret and sending 
out his call to prayei over the city. 

'I"he Exposition Salon ot [867, besides affording a second glimpse oi the 
pictures we have before described, contained four new canvases in which the 
artist again displayed the surprising range and depth ol his powers. The most 
prominent was the Death 0} < Cesar, the first sketch of which, -.ecu by Gautier in 
the painter's atelier, is described as follows: 

"Nothing can he more singular and striking than the Death <>/ Ccesar,as 
yet only a sketch, hut where already the entire intention ol the painter can he- 
read. It is antiquity conceived alter the manner of Shakespeare. The scene 
must have taken place thus' The bodj "I Caesar a real body, rolled in 1 
bloody mantle lies at the fOOl ol the Statue Oi the great Pompey, the pedestal 
bein^ stained in his effort to hold himscll up by it. 

"Appalled by the murder, and fearing to bi compromised, the senators have 
taken flight, with the exception of one obese old man who has gone to sleep in 
his i in-ill, chin; grown heavy and dull through excessive indulgence in good 
cheer, hi 1m heard nothing through his profound slumber and has no idea of 
what has taken place. Imagine the scene! In the foreground, al the left of 



u6 



//// l.\/> WORKS Of J I I (.I.KOMI 




the spectator, in the corner oi the canvas, lies the bodj <>i the fallen Caesar ■ at 
the right, several rows "I empty chairs, some ol them overturned in the pre- 
cipitation of flight. In the background, through the open door, the backs of the 
il. eing senators, who jostle each other in their haste . a little nearer the front, the 
group oi conspirators waving their swords and withdrawing, now that then- task 
of murder is achieved. Brutus, passing before the statue ol Rome, which forms 

the pendant to thai ol Pompey, hall turns and 
easts a melancholy glance behind him ; he 

teels already that he has committed a useless 

crime, ami the Tu quoque, Brute,' pierces 
his soul. Liberty was dead before he killed 
Cesar' Truly this is a bold and romantic 
manner ol treating this most classic ol sub- 
jects. Never did a scene in history appear 
moie real. II photography had existed in 
Caesar's day, one could believe that the picture 
was painted from a proof taken on the spot. 
at the very moment ol the catastrophe." 

" The Death ol (asm- [says Mrs. Sirana- 

han in her admirable "History ot French 

Painting"] is perhaps Heroine's grandest, as it 

is certainly his severest work. The adequate 

and impressive conception ol the subject, 

the learned presentation ol it. and the skill 

oi technique in depicting it unite to form its 

completeness. Hegivesit in two pictures : in 

one (1859) the body lies alone; in the other 

< 1 s< j 7 >, more dramatic, the senators, one alone retaining his seat, are hurrying 

away as by an irresistible impulsion. But the nearly empty senate chamber 

is lull of historic suggestion as it is also of artistic success." 

A careful study of this great work leaves one so thrilled by its dramatic 
side, its potent memories, and subtle Suggestions that we wonder with wdiat 
eyes M. Charles Blanc has regarded it. when he remarks that in this picture 
" the passions to be expressed are sidled under archaeological science!" Truly, 
1 Ik historical accessories are carefully and accurately grouped, bui the interest 
unconsciously and Utterly centers itself in the emotions ol the principal actors 
in this tragic scene, and in the analysis of the feelings of these quaking con- 
spirators, hastening from the presence ol this great soul, who in death still retains 
his power to awe. and before whose lifeless body the most daring tremble and 
tlee. We well remember (ierume's satisfaction when informed that the greatest 

Shakespearian actor ol our epoch Edwin Booth has reproduced his wonder! id 

picture in the stage Betting oi thi third act of Julius Ccesar, in which he gives an 
ideal impersonation ol Brutus. No greatei testimon) to the perfect distribution 



SPRINGTIME 

i ARABIA) 



/.//■/. AND WORKS Of // L\ //.o.\ <,/, 



i r 



of dramatic, artistic, and historic values on this canvas could be desired than 
that furnished by this fat I 

Beside this chef-d'oeuvre hangs another whose pathetic beauty sinks deep into 
the soul and rouses a feeling ol indignanl sympathy thai blurs the eyes which 
Look, and turn to look again and again. 

" Ger6me's Slave-Market [says Maxime l)n Camp] is a fad literally repro- 
duced. When the djellabs return from their long and painful journeys cm the 
Upper Nile, they install their human merchandise in those greal okels which 
extend in Cairo along the ruined mosque ol the Caliph Hakerc ; people go there 
to purchase a slave as thej do here to the markel house to buj a turbot, Seated 
on mats in the shadow ol the galleries, with their nudity scantilj concealed l>\ a 
few greasj tatters, th< negresses await their purchasers, dozing, or braiding their 
hair in the thousand little plaits that form their coiffure. The higher-priced 
women, those from the plateau ol Gondar and from the countr} ol Choa, are shut 
up in separate rooms, away from indiscreet eyes h is one ol these worn 
Abyssinian, whom M. Cicrdme has taken as the principal personage ol ln> 
composition. She is nude, and the djellab who has charge ol her lias the head 
of a regular brigand, accustomed to all manner oi violence and abduction; the 
conception ol an immortal soul has never troubled the mind ol such a bandit! 
The poor girl stands submissive, humble, resigned, with a fatalistic passivit} 
vcrv skillfully ! by the artist. \ man surveys her and looks at her 

as one inspects those ol a horse, and appraises the merchandise with the 
distrustful glance peculiar to the Arab. Two or three persons in beautiful 
costumes complete the principal group. In the inclosed background one 
perceives other slaves scattered hero and then 

When wi are imallv able to tear ourselves away from tins wonderful and 
touching scene, a masterpiece o( sentiment, drawing, and color, we find another 
lui oi Oriental Life awaiting us in the Vieux Warchand d' Habits. 

" The Clothes Merchant | says \l. I )u Camp [ is one oi those old men, numbers 
of whom exist in Cairo, who retain old customs, refusing absolutely to wear the 
tunic or the tarbouch, remaining faithful to the ancient turban ol white mous- 
seline and to the wide robe with its ample folds, -seeming themselves to be 
an itinerant curiosity, strolling through the streets and crying their bric-a-bra< 
When they meet a European, thee hah. and with an engaging smile they offer 
a hachette, or an old poniard, saying, 'Antica, Mameluke, bono, bono!' This one 
of M. I'icrome. carrying on his arm some lovely old rose-colored garments, oilers 

a saber to an \inaiil, who is very near allowing himself to lie persuaded ; a group 
has gathered near the merchant and each oni is giving his opinion. In the 
background is a shop near which a reddish-colored dog is crouching in the pose 
of the jmd Anubis, and one catches si.^lit of two women enveloped in white 
mantles who are entering their house. 



Il8 \ND WORKS 01 // ■ i.\ //i>\ G&ROM& 

"Gerflmehas seized en route, with great felicity, the differenl types of the 
Orient. The Arab, the Skipetar, the Turk, the Barabras, the Syrian, can be 
recognized al the firsl glance, and in the ethnographic expression of his person- 
ages he is always correcl (a1 leasl unless he attempts some jest, as he did last 
yeai with the heads heaped up in front oi the Mosque of EUHaganm)." 

One more Eastern seem- completes the list. The Chess-players, a small 
canvas which forms pan ol the famous collection inherited by the late Sir 
Richard Wallace from his father. Lord Hertford. 

The autumn of [867 beheld Ger6me again enroutetor the Orient, this time 
forajournej oi greatei length and range than any he yel had undertaken. We 
have already referred to it in quoting from the volume written by his"Fidus 
Achates," the wittj and lovable Paul Lenoir, who was to be the chronicler ol 
this grand tour. 

•' Embarked upon the steamboat at Marseilles, all was excitement with the 
younger members ol the party when the mists slowly lifted from the horizon 
and the coast ol Africa revealed itself like a long golden straw floating in the 
distance. Their imagination getting ahead ol the vessel, they vied with each 
othet m heme, the first to discovei the mosl imperceptible objects. Do you sec- 
Do y on see that.' They are palms! No! they are camels !— No, again— 
for they were only windmills!" 

Arriving finally at Alexandria. Adha-Anna, who had been Gerdme's cook 
on his lirst trip to Egypt, took chargeof all the baggage and left the travelers 
free to roam through the narrow streets where, says l.cnoir : 

" Everything seems to roll like pebbles in a torrent ; your toes are trodden 
on through principle, and you are hustled and jostled through religious con- 
viction; the dromedaries, asses, and horses appropriate the best part of the paved 

road and the foot-walks ; the rest of the street is generously abandoned to foot- 

passengers, to the women who. wrapped in their long blue draperies, either carry 
enormous burdens or drag along with a garland oi children hanging in clusters 
among their ra^s and tatters. 

Alexandria is the inevitable antechamber of Cairo, as, in a badly planned 
apartment, one is forced to pass through the kitchen in order to reach the 
drawing-room! Endless avenues oi tamarisks and lemon trees shade the banks 
of the Grand Canal ol Malimoudieh, and the blues, reds, and yellows of luxurious 
villas offer a charming contrast to the thousand tints of the exotic vegetation, 
from the pearl-gray of the aloe to the emerald-green of the banana. The slender 
masts oi the long dahabiehs seem to touch the sky as they glide along towed by 
an odd milange of animals ; now a camel and an ass are harnessed together, now 
a shapely horse- and a heavy, clumsy buffalo. To-day there is a railway by way 
..I Damanhour; the houses, built of earth or dried brick, lean airainst each other. 
and one can scarcely decide where tin village ends and the count n begins, so 



///■/■ AND WORKS (>/■ // l\ l£0A G&RdME. 119 

uniformly gray is the earthy color. Farther on, the aspect oi the country 
changes and one is conscious of penetrating to the hearl of Egypt. Enormous 
fields of grain recall the low-lying fields in Holland, save thai here and then 
snowy herons furnish a luminous poinl in the general monotonous tone 
of green. 

" An infinite variety of birds darl pasl ; everything, from the diminutive lap- 
wings fluttering about like Augusl butterflies to the noisy sparrow-hawks and 
strong-winged eagles. 

Arrived at Cairo, G6r6me organized a goodly caravan, composed, as w< 
from bis own notes, of twenty-seven camels, including ten dromedaries, which 
earned the artists and their servants. While the preparations were being made 
for the desert journey, ( airo and the vicinity were thoroughly studied from the 
artist's point of view, and the pictures elaborated from the sketches lure taken 
prove a perfect panorama of Oriental life, to which the notes oi master and pupil 
furnish a piquant commentary. What seemed greatly to amuse the latter were 
the little beasts oi which Gerdme has given us so good a type in his Ane Egyptien. 
While the master paints, Lenoir embodies their reflections as follows: 

•The ass plays too important a rdle in life at Cairo and throughout the 

Orient not to merit the honor ol a zoological digression. hi the first place, my 
ass was not an ass' |i was properly speaking the bourriquot of Cairo, a quad- 
ruped ol a special nature, which should not he confounded with the beast oi 
burden, the common ass. The bourriquot is as lively, adroit, intelligent, and 
indefatigable as his brothers of Montmorency are vicious, lazy, and obstinate. 
The ass is not only the first friend vim make in the Orient, he is also the hest 
pail "I shoes VOU Can buy! lor you only use your hoots when you throw them 
under the bed. Always mounted on an ass. .1 horse, or a dromedary, the cus- 
tomers ot St. Crispin economize here astonishingly in shoe-leathei We lived, 
so to speak, on an ass, during our whole expedition in the province oi Fayoum, 
jusl as, during the two months in the Desert of Sinai and at 1'etra. we lived 
on a dromedary." 

We have already laughed over the first wild rush through the narrow sti 
ro, hut the little hand did not always ride al such breakneck speed. Every 
novel effect of color and form, of pose and grouping, was caught by keen eyes 
and without delay transferred to the ever ready canvas: 

" In the more aristocratic quarters, the passing ot camels is prohibited by law. 
and here wealth) inhabitants dash to and fro in handsome, spring} baroi 
preceded by runners richh costumed. 

"On every side we see the admirable sculptures in wood, which, under the 

form of moucharabiehs, serve as windows and ventilators to the eleganl resi- 

., arches surmounted hy terraces, fountains of rose-colored marble, niches 



////■ imi WORKS Ol- //■ l.\ l£OA G&RdMl 



adorned with paintings, slender pillars in every species of granite, carved bal- 
conies, doors mysteriously ajar, each furnished with an almost imperceptible 
veilleuse and piquing our curiosity to the highest degree." 

Ger6me gives us a glimpse oi one ol these Eastern houris who was not so 
averse to being seen, in his Almie at the Window of her Moucharabieh. Each 
ramble furnished him with half-a-dozen motifs for canvases that have never 

been hung at any Salon and the 
greater part of which have never 
even been seen by his country- 
men, since eager amateurs have 
invaded his ateliei 3 and i arried 
them oil to distant lands almost 
before the paint was dry. One 
oi the favorite points oi rendez- 
vous was the Gate of Babel- 
Nasr, the most beautiful of the 
seventy-two gates which adorn 
the walls oi Cairo. 




" By its eleganl architecture 

and historic associations it well 

merits admiration and attention. 

for it was through this gate that 

( ieiieral Bonaparte passed on the 

29th of July, 1 798, the day after 

the battle ol the Pyramids. It 

was the first study that Gerdme 

made on his first visit to Cairo. 

Planked by two enormous square 

towers, this door presents an 

appearance at once imposing and gracious, through its colossal proportions and 

the sculptured ornaments that make it a real work of art. Two doors, literally 

covered with iron, close the entrance to this warlike construction. Beneath 

the arch a military post is stationed, whuli Clonic has immortalized in his 

Arnauts oi Cairo. Assuredly they arc there from love ol ornamentation and 

to please us painters, for. studying tins group of soldiers decked out in brilliant 

costumes, one is tempted to question their strategic utility as regards the secu- 

ii\ oi the city. While awaiting a new conquest of Egypt by no matter whom, 

decorative soldiers, these sentinels oi comic opera, have no other orders 

than io stop the photographers whom they would honor with their confidence. 

•• Their costume, artistically loosened, their luxurious arms as brilliant as 

they are inoffensive, their proud, disdainful attitudes, their slightest gestures, 

everything about them seems to have been carefully studied. 




Till GRAND WHIM I l\l c II. 



I III. AND WORKS, OF JEAN LEON Ci.ROMl \i$ 

"Nothing, however, can be more natural than these interminable Greek 

mustaches which divide the face in two, like two enormous buffalo horns, and 
which form the greatest ornament of these energetic faces bronzed by the sun. 
The mustache, which has nothing of the Arabic in principle, is a sign of 
Albanian origin in the Cairene soldier. The Arnauts, this Greek militia 
imported into Egypl by Mehemet-Ali to contend against the increasing impor- 
tance ol the Mamelukes, inaugurated at Cairo both the fustanelle and the 
mustache, the effect ol which they heightened by wearing the richest stuffs they 
could find in 1 1 1 1 -> country which they had invaded. It was an innovation in a 
land where the heard is in high esteem, and when- the respect due to a man is 
graduated according to the length <>t this ornament. A soldier amateur, the 
Arnaut plays his role with ease, and becomes an indispensable hit of furniture at 
the door ol a mosque or the entrance of a palace, with a do/en pistols and sabers 
artistically enlaced in the compartments ol a wide belt of red leather, which 

^ives him the appearance ol a walking bazaar. His pipe, tobacco, and food find 

also a place on this vast itagere lie is fully conscious ol his interesting 
appearance and, in order not to disturb a single one of the arms in the museum 
lie carries on his stomach, lie keeps ready a tremendous courbache, which holds 
both enemies and admirers al a distance. The courbache is a long flexible 
wdlip ol hippopotamus hide, which combines the pliability of a whip with the 
precision ol a stick. It is the indispensable scepter which obtains everything, 
regulates everything, and decides everything, when bake hie h has become power- 
less io settle a delicate question. 

\ strange feature in these surroundings, which differed so essentially from 
Occidental scenes and customs, was found in the cemeteries which lav outside 
ot the city, veritable forests of little whitewashed tombs, each ot them consisting 
Of a large flat stone laid upon an entablature of one or two steps at the most. 

The principal stone, forming the body of the tomb, is saddle-backed. At one of 
the extremities is erected a column, or a simple oblong stone, sculptured accord- 
ing to the importance ot the deceased or the fortune of the parents. The end .it 

this stone, generally very rudel} em. represt nts the coiffure ol the <le.nl, and the 
white ball, surmounted by the little tinted case, is nothing but the turban of the 
proprietor, in marble or imitation stone, according to the rank ol the defunct. 
On several tombs, more carefull) decorated than the others, remains of palms and 
votive offerings could be distinguished. Sometimes we saw women draped in 
long blue veils crouched near a tomb, their factitious si.idis and methodical 
swaying imparting a savage tone to their manifestations of grief. Sometimes 
simply seated, at otluis literally extended lull length on the stone, they seemed 
to speak with the dead. An idea of tins singular conversation may be gathered 
from the following phrases : 'Is God great? Dost thou see him' Art thou 
happ} ? Await me dost thou hear ?' and so on interminably, for the defunct are 
generally discreel enough not to replj !" 

tierome's two pictures of Tombs of the Sultan >i/ Broussa give one a perfect 
idea of these strange sepulchers, before which a sheikh recites, at intervals, 



scribable elegance of their Saracen archi- 
oblong cupolas ol almosl P 



124 mi AND WORKS Of // l\ I /'.ox G&RdMl 

tions from the Koran, keeping up a sort oi perpetual prayer, burning candles and 
incense according to the rank of the deceased, The City of Caliphs, improperly 

called ihc\.illi\ ..I Tombs, has furnished him with materials for many inter- 
esting paintings. 

" Its minarets and domes group themselves with the premeditation oi a 
theatrical decoration which desires to surpass the most extravaganl expectations. 
The multitude ol these monuments, seemingly leaning againsl each other by 

reason oi the marvelous perspective, which 
permits us to lake them all in at a glance ; 
the vaneH o| their dimensions, the mile- 

forms; these graceful minarets, each storj 
ol which reveals marvels of sculpture; the 
gilded crosses which surmount them, the 
luts oi faience sparkling in the midst ol 
arabesques ol marble all this transported 
us to a former world, and we almost 
expected to meet Saladm on an elephant 
at some turn in the ancient cross-roads ! 

"Everything in this spol confirms the 
sentiment ol religious admiration which 
has taken possession ol us: the solitude 
oi these almost abandoned mosques, the 
uncivilized character of the clay houses 
that surround them, and even the types 
oi the lew inhabitants seem to conform 
to the style oi that magnificent Mussul- 
man epoch under which wire produced the most beautiful chefs d'eeuvre ol 
Byzantine art interpreted by the Arabs. 

"It wasnotCairo.it was Bagdad suddenly transported into Egypt to console 

the painters who were not to have the happiness ol going as far as the ancient 
capital ol the Caliph I laroun-al-Raschid. 

" In the interminable row of monuments, each more graceful and admirable 
than the oilier, the lirsl mosque we approached was I li.it ol F.l-.\chraf. Its 
ruined interiors still present .1 mosl interesting and almost complete ensemble. 
The little carved pulpit where the Koran was read is still intact, sheltered as it 
is 111 one of the angles of the principal hall. To a height of several meters the 
walls are decorated with inlaid work and mosaics in exquisite taste. Higher up, 
these luxurious decorations are supplemented by sober paintings, the charming 
designs of which are fully equal in detail to all the other Arabic ornamentation. 
A slight recess in Gothic form oilers the richest decoration in the whole mosque. 
This veritable abside is not indifferentlj placed, but corresponds to the direction 

ol Mecca, and it is there the sheikh begins the dull and drowsy intoning of the 



LIFE \ND WORKS OF II :l.\ ll<>\ GE.ROME 125 

prayers or the reading o< the Koran. Thi irved pulpit is placed al the right oi 
this sanctuary, where there is no altar, but simply a great profusion of lamps 
and inscriptions. Two enormous coppei candlesticks, adorned with two 
tapers, siill more enormous, mount guard on either side. 

"The short, wide form oi the candlestick and the colossal size oi the candle 
make one dubious at first sight as to the nature oi this object, which is the entire 
visible expression of the Mussulman worship. Some days aftei this, one of us 
made a study of this mosque, which admirably renders its mysterious and poetic 
character. 

" We had left our asses at the door, and also conformed to the law which 
prohibits the shoes from accompanying their owners into the holy place. Vou 

can imagine nothing odder than this battalion oi I I • iadl] awaiting us on the 

steps, where ihe\ seemed to envj us our privileges. The regulation bakchicb 
bestowed on the sheikh, who is the doorkeeper oi the mosque, we bestrode 
our beasts, who oi their own accord such is their instinct for the beautiful 
deposited us at the entrance oi the Mosque El-Barkouk. While we were in the 

mosque the Sight of Our coursers had aroused the poor population, always hidden 

away under the rubbish ; and like dies attracted bj a bit oi meat, this multitude 
oi women and children endured the rudest blows oi our donkey boys, rather than 
slacken their hold and renounce the paras of copperwhicb we would toss them 
in charity under the pretext oi its being "bakchich." For one musi not fall into 
the error of confounding bakchich with charity ! which latter would doubtless be 
humiliating to an Arab; the former is a gift, a present among princes who 
respect and desire to honor each oilier' Bakchich is a colossal institution 111 the 
1)11.111 , 11 is an indirect contribution from the traveler, which may easily exceed 
the cost oi the whole journey it he does not guard against too great liberality in 
his offerings. In addition, gratitude on the part oi the child and woman consists 
m a renewal of the demand with an irritating persistency proportionate to the 
generosity which you bave displayed in your first donation. The Mosque of 
El-Barkouk is more imposing than that of El-Achraf, although of a later period. 
Its principal entrance, surmounted bj covered galleries, produces an extra- 
ordinary effect : the Staircases in marble, and the Columns oi porphyry, are 
is and pieturcsipich disposed, The taste of a skillful architect has cer- 
tainly presided over this luxurious ornamentation ; tor tin* richness is not the 
result of a ridiculous beaping up oi precious materials nor oi loud colors, as m 
the more modem constructions of the Mussulman religion. Si. Sophia, with its 
superabundance of gilding and gigantic proportions, certainlj dors not produce 
1I1. impression of grandeur and mysterious poetry which the Mosques oi Cairo 
inspire to the highest degree, from the superb Mosque oi Hassan (El-Assaneyn) 
to the smallest of the constructions which adorn the tombs of the Mamelukes, 
so full] do taste and elegance make up lor mathematical proportions "I a purely 
massive and coarse construction." 

Gi rfime indeed made a thorough Stud) of the different views and tunes ,,! 
worship m these wonderful mosques, and in the Reading of the Koran, wh< 



i-'" ///■/■ WD WORKS OF // l\ //<>\ G&R6MI 

central figure <>l the white-bearded patriarch is especially fine ; Prayer in a 
Mosque, with ten figures in various devotional attitudes; The Mihrab, with the 
sheikh seated on the Boor reading, and another Prayer, with five figures, he 
reproduces not only the strange coloring, the magnificenl sculptures in wood and 
marble, ami the graceful groupings and postures, bul also the profound religious 
sentiment which is ingrained in these simple Mussulmans, so faithful and unpre- 
tentious in their worship. In Publu Prayer in the Mosgue of Atnrou, with its 
flock oi doves fluttering down between the marble pillars, -which tonus pari of 
the collection bequeathed by Miss Catherine Wolfe to the Metropolitan Museum 
oi New York, the artist has given us. we think, the most perfeel ol all these 
interioi s. 

■■ Amioii, general under the Caliph ( (mar, was the author ot this monument, 
n !n ii is reputed to be ihe lirst Mussulman mosque built at Cairo 

"Nothing has arisen to contradict this origin, and the Style ot the edifice 
confirms all the details connected with it. Gam-a-Amrou is the Arabic name. 
Constructed in the year 640 ol oui era, at the time ot the conquest by the Arabs, 
it can be considered as a point ol departure, or the cradle of Islamism in Egypt. 
Situated to the cast ot old Cairo, with winch it is contemporaneous, it is sur- 
rounded to-daj b\ endless rubbish, shapeless rums ol the city of which it 
doubtless was the most beautiful ornament. The walls ot this architectural relic 
form a pel led square, the interioi being only the regular peristyle of an immense 
court. Two hundred and thirty columns oi marble form the foundation of this 
open air edifice, for the covered portion is insignificant relatively to the rest ot 
the building. 

•• In the center ot this enormous court is the traditional pool of the mosques, 
where each Mussulman performs his indispensable ablutions before beginning his 
prayers. This little pavilion, still dotted with paintings on the lower part, is 
shaded by a superb palm tree, which seems lobe the time-honored guardian o| 
this hoK place. Hut the water <>i the pool argues little in favor of the piet} ot 
the faithful oi to-day, unless ii is a result ot their uncleanliness ' We made a 
conscientious sluily ol this remarkable locality, where the slightest details express 
the pure simplicity and consequent beauty ol Arabic ail. A graceful minaret 
shoots up almost immediately over the principal entrance, and signals from afar 
Ihe presence of this important building, which, without it. would scarcely be 
perceived on account ot its regular form and the waj it is closed in by ruins of 
thi ancient city and fragments of every description, increased by the encroach- 
ment ol ihe sand. In the covered part, which forms the sanctuary, where there 
are six rows of columns, but tew points recall Ihe worship so long carried on in 
this mosque. Its mihrab, at abside, turned toward Mecca, is in a state ot ruin. 
as well as the menber, the sculptured pulpit so religiously cherished in other 
mosques. 

"Tradition, or an apocryphal legend, calls your attention to a long white 
vein or seam in one of the columns near this pulpit. This miraculous scar is 



///■/• l.\/i WORKS Ol // M //, <\ G&RdMl 127 

attributed to the courbachi oi the Caliph Omar. The tomb ol the author, or 
rather founder, of this public building and the city argues in favor oi his 
modesty: his funeral monumenl is a simple rectangular stone, surmounted by a 
common little rooi supported by four sickly little columns, and this excess oi 
simplicity ha not lessened the veneration winch true Mussulmans profess for 
Amrou and his mosque, for the mosl important personages honor ii often with 
their official visits and carry awaj blessings of a very superior qualit] 

" In a second \ isii winch we made en mass* to this interesting mosque, we 
wished to complj with a pious legend which is one oi the accessories oi the 
edifici as follows: On the righi oi the door, under the peristyle oi the court. 
are two slender columns formed of a single piece oi marble, hound together by 
their capitals and the ornaments al the base. A space ol onlj a lew centimeters 
separates the two shafts, and a pious Arabic legend gives to this opening thi 
agreeable properties, among others thai oi prolonging the life of all those who 
can pass between the two columns without breaking their ribs! Several oi our 
party, thanks to then youth and the elegant slenderness of their build, slipped 
through like letters into a postal-box, easih carrying off a license ol longevity 
1/ discrition. Mm one oi us had to make- such efforts thai the columns seemed to 
crack at contact with his powerful physique. ' He'll j^ct through !' ' He won'tgei 
through !' He did ^et through, hut at what cosl ' At another spoi we assured 
ourselves eternal happiness by running, with our exes blindfolded, a space oi 
ll meters, at the end of which we were to touch a black slab inlaid in the 
wall. I be Vrabs were convinced ol our utter dishonesty, SO often did we suc- 
ceed in hitting it. nearly all of us striking the center ol this celestial target. 
The serious and almost fanatic conviction of the sheikh of the mosque con- 
trasted singularly with the comic side of these superstitious legends, which 
recalled to us the sack-races ami hhndnian 's-lui II ol our merry schoolboy days. 

"After numerous salamaleks. and still more numerous bakchichs, we were 

able to tear ourselves away from the congratulations and compliments oi the 

sheikh, who doubtless saw m us future neophytes, or good customers, considering 

athusiasm which we had displayed lor his little games ol chance and 

of eternal salvation ' 

"We returned to Cairo at full gallop by the route which runs along the Nile 
as far as Boulak. A thousand picturesque incidents would have detained us hid 
we not been preoccupied with an important operation which awaited US at the 
hotel, namely, the selection oi a dragoman for our expedition to Fayoum. A 
\eritable council oi war. tins ceremony had gathered together in our court a 
fantastic collection ol physiognomies and of strange types. At the mere sighl 

ome ol these professional guides to whom we were aboui to confide our whole 
existence, our hands instinctively buttoned up our coals and lingered in the 
neighborhood of our watch-chains' Nothing could he more singular than this 

legion of worthies, some of whom, armed lo the teeth, recalled to us thosi 
of brigands which till now we had only seen in the stories of IVrraull and which 
-pod the comfort of travel like horrible nightmares. Inoffensive for the most 
part, these honesi thieves came to offer us their services with a zealous compi 



128 LIFE AND WORKS OF JEAN LEON GEROME, 

tition mosl comical to behold. Bach one endeavored to persuade us by tours 
de force oi eloquence and bundles <>l certificates, forced from the victims who 
had honored them with their confidence, 

rally the] spoke Beveral languages very well; one of them spoke 
eleven, this prolusion rousing a little- anxiety lesl he should attempl to speak 
them all al once! We finally succeeded in making a double bargain with a 
certain rlassahoui, for donkeys and drivers lor Fayoum, and with a ven 
intelligent Syrian, named Joseph Moussali, for the dromedaries, camels, and 
drivers for the Desert ol Sinai and Petra. In our expedition to Sinai, we 
were served by the domestics who formed the stall oi this Moussali, remarka- 
ble and varied types oi this Arab population, so gentle and so docile, whose 
dispositions have only been altered by the unjust treatment and indescribable 
lirui.il 1 1 \ oi their conquerors, Th< contracts read, signed, and sealed, and all 
being decided, iroin the number of fowls to the size of the pots and kettles, 
we weni to \isii our tents, artistically pitched under the mosl beautiful 

oi Bzbekyeh. Having consecrated an entire day to the trial of our 
asses ioi the journey, we set off ai five o'clock in the morning with all our 
accessories, and reached the Nile a little above the island ol Roudah, our 
dromedaries having arrived the evening before. It was here that we were to 
cross the river to gain the road to Gyzeh and reach the Pyramids toward three 
o'clock in the afternoon. At the end ol this island, the impetuous current of 
the rivi i sei ms to slacken a little, its efforts being divided. It is doubtless for 
this reason thai this poinl was chosen to effect its. important passage. Here is the 
rendezvous oi the boats which ply between the banks in the interests of com- 
merce and circulation. Cangues, dahabiehs, little crafts oi every shape and size. 
form at this spot a motle] flotilla. Whether a favorable wind permits the grace- 
ful sails to be unfurled amid this lorest of masts, or an absolute calm brings into 
use the colossal oars and professional oarsmen, t his point oi the Nile and of Cairo 
oiler-- the most vivid picture of maritime movement. Rarely does a collision 
disturb the scene. Like real fish, the small and large vessels cross each other 
carelessly with an equal rapidity, recalling the skill with which our Parisian 
vehicles are guided through the densest crowds. What interested us particularly, 
and .unused us greatly, was the forced embarkment andstowing away oi our asses 
on the little barks, the patrons oi which had first offered to take us over. We 
had it firsl a slight repetition of our debarkation from the boat at Alexandria, in 
the struggle among these worthy people, who wished to oblige us iii »piie ot our- 
selves, in snatching away our asses and literally tossing them into their respective 
little wherries. It was the first time we had occasion to observe the importance 
of our dragoman and the impressive gestures which saved him the fatigue of 
expressing himself in his native language. With his sleeves turned up. and 
armed with a formidable courbache. Joseph Moussali thrashed, in turn, ( 
thing in front of him, beasts and men. lill the most perfect order was established 
lor the transfer of our animals and of ourselves into the bargain ! We were forci- 
blj struck by the yellow coloring of Ihe river. It is caused bv tin sand which 
the Nile constantly rolls alon«. and, the current being Stronger than usual, we 



THE CARPET MERCHANT 

1887 



/.//■/■ AND WORKS OF I 



[29 



sailed over on a red vanilla-cream. We passed" the last banks of sand neai the 
island and found ourselves in the mid. IK- oi the river. A unique spectacle pre- 
sented itseli in us, and the poetic swaying of our hark intensified the impres- 
sion oi dreamj enchantment. h was about aim o'clocl in the morning; the 
sun Bashed on each oi the waxes which made of the Nile a veritable tossing 
sea and the coloring <>i the water recalled the rivers oi gold in Chinese 
romances. 

"On the banks oi the island oi Roudah, and over the walls id its gardens, 

trees oi an incredible beighl shol up like rockets over the Nile, Behind us 

were grouped the thousand and one vessels, boats, and little crafl which wi bad 







A 




found on the lefl bank ; this foresl oi masts and white sails, the stuffs oi various 
colors which are generally stretched across the decks as protection from the 
ardent rays oi the sun all this was charmingly mingled and mirrored in the 
W< reached the farther hank as crowded, as animated, as noisy, as the 
one we had just left. The unpacking of the asses was as difficult and as extrava- 
gantly tunny as their installation had been. During the fairly long crossing 
they seemed to bave taken a liking to navigation, and it needed sundry blows 
ol the eouili.i.li. I., rouse them from their sentimental reveries; they were 
literally thrown into the air, and. like so many cats, generally landed on their 
fei i Arrived at tin- village of Gyzeh, we found a battalion of camels carrying 
our baggage; they had started the night before in order not to retard our 
departure from Cairo. Heboid us, beasts and men. ,11 route in Indian file, 
firstly, on account oi th narrowness of the roads along the Nile, and 
secondly, to conform to the classic aspect a caravan is supposed to have. The 



13° /.//•/■, AND WORKS <>/ /AM LiOA G&R6MI 

dragoman a1 the head, then each oi us in i urn, .-mil our pack-camels bringing 
up the procession; we must have looked like the figures in the landscape 
paintings on clocks; bul we were far from thinking ol this, having for- 
gotten "in personal silhouettes in our admiration ol all thai stretched out 
before us. 

"The Nile ono passed, we entered reall] into a new zone; already the 
temperature was sensibly altered, the proximit} oi the deserl giving to the wind 
unexpei ted marpm ss and violence; there are no longer gentle currents of air 
which gracefully sway the palms, but sudden whirlwinds, which tear off branches 
and leaves, while raisin- clouds ol -and and dust. The country, still very ver- 
dant, takes "a a much more savage aspect, The village ol Gyzeh is surrounded 
l.\ groves oi palm tree- which make ol il one oi the most picturesque sites in 
the environs oi Cairo. These palms attain fabulous proportions ; their wrinkled 
trunks are enormous, and the eleganl palm tufts surmount them like immense 
capitals, furnishing a dense shade, impenetrable to the .sun , in several localities 
reserved foi trav< I, their symmetry produces an impression ol a grand colonnade 
holding ii]. a marvelous vaull ol verdure. Although ii> name is historical, there 
is nothing important ahout the village, unless il he the famous incubato 
which tlie fellahs have preserved the recipe from the time ot tin- Pharaohs. 
These manufactories oi small chickens, which Herodotus so much admired, still 
exist, and work wuli the same precision as they did in the kitchens ot Sesostris. 
In some more rugged portions ot the valley we came across some saquiehs, a sorl 
ot turning well, tin- motive power of which is ordinarily a buffalo, an ass, or camel. 
These primitive wells are the auxiliaries ot the Nile and supplement the benefits 
ol Us inundations. Two immense wheels, which form the gear, cause to descend 
and ascend a veritable rosarj ol little earthen jugs, which empty the water into a 
ditch destined to fertilize the surrounding soil or simply to supply the necessities 
of a little village. The installation "I a saquieh generall) idler-, the ensemble ol a 
most picturesque composition in both design and color; one always finds an 
uneven ground, water, palm trees, animals and their drivers, groups ot women 
and children, who come here lor water when the Nile is too distant; il is the 
rural Hie id Egypl in its mosl practical and truesl aspect. 

" Apropos ol saquidhs, it is important to notice that the Egyptians were the 
real inventors ol these wells, improperly known among us as artesian wells. 
Olympiodorus, who lived in the sixth century at Alexandria, writes that wells 

were due, in the oases to a depth sometimes of [24 meters. 

"'It is certain,' says D6gous6e, 'that the existence id subterranean springs 

was known to the Egyptians; the methods they employed to make use ot 
them are still practiced in Africa by the Arabs of the desert.' 

"In the search tor. and difficult perforation of these wells, in consequence 
of the shifting nature of the sand, one finds a nearly complete resemblance to 

the means ol sounding employed in China and the whole ol the extreme Orient. 
Is it not humiliating to think that these wells were not known and accepted 
m Europe till i8a8 -imported from the Orient by the advice of the celebrated 
savant Jobard, ot Brussels? 



LIFE AND WORKS OF // M / / < > \ GEROAfE [31 

"After having followed for some miles the left bank oi the Nile, we turned 
suddenly to our right, leaving our beloved palm trees to cross lands which were 
in a state of culture doubtless very satisfying to their proprietors, but much too 
green to please our painter eves; this general tone, almosl disa in its 

monotony, Only made us appreciate more keenly the sharply accentuated line 
of demarcation between the desert and the cultivated land- Oui attention was 
distracted from these geological considerations by the sigh) of the Pyramids, 
which seemed to flee before us. so greatly did their gigantic proportions deceive 
us in regard to the distance which remained to I" traversed in order to reach 
them. The view ol the Pyramids obtained from Gyzeh is most imposing, Seen 
from a distance of five or six kilometers, when a caravan between you and them 
can serve as a scale of proportion, their extraordinary dimensions impress one 
most forcibly. By the orders oi the dragoman, and almost in a traditional 
manner for those oi us who had visited Egypl before, oui tents arose, as ii by 
enchantment, under the shade oi an enormous sycamore, which insisted on 
flourishing in the midst oi the -and . supplemented by three palm trees, this 
magnificenl tree formed I vegetation oi the environs; it is under its 

thai all travelers seek shelter and repose before beginning their archaeo- 
logical researches. There were as yet no tenants, so we installed ourselves 
without protest, and drew up a lease oi three days with this hospitabh 
with freedom to move when we pleased. Camels, donkeys, tents, escort, don- 
key-boys, camel-drivers, our luggage, ami ourselves all found ample room under 
its benevolenl branches." 

While the novices in this joyous hand hastened away at daybreak to pa] 
a forma] call to the Sphinx, scramble to the top oi the Great Pyramid and 
explore its interior, as well as some ol the numerous tombs which lie scattered 
around. Ger6me remained alone to make the sketch which was afterward 
reproduced in his exquisite painting called The First Kiss 0) the Sun. 

"Aftei several days in this interesting locality, we moved on, by wa\ oi 
Dai hour, to the real desert. Alter having followed, twisted around, and crossed 
successively an interminable series oi canals and pools, we reached the end of 
the cultivated lands and prepared foi OUI firsl assault on the desert itself it 
ere day, lor our next halting-place was the village oi Tamyeh, 
winch lies nearly in the center oi the province of Fayoum. The day was truly 
a disagreeable one. in spite oi the precautions we had liken, tor we had not 
counted on a hurricane of sand which surprised us in the middle ol the desert 
at the always interesting moment of breakfast. The clock at the Bourse in 
Paris probabl] marked noon, bill our stomachs loudly declared it to be at least 
four o'clock ' lb. flat dishes were spread around and our eyes were already 
devouring the papers in which our cold lunch was wrapped; we had just seized 
our forks when, quicker than lightning, a real deluge of sand overwhelmed us; 
ink against which we were leaning gave way, taken up by this tempest, 
and poured over everythii and edibles. Wavesol sand dashed into oui 



132 III! \ND WORKS Of II I \ L&Oh >, /If!// 

eyes and blinded us. Bottles, dishes, the menu,a\\ lay buried under the sand, 
and we began a series oi excavations to prevenl our property and ourselves from 
disappearing entirely in this cataclysm. The Arabs, having lenl us a helping 
hand in our distress, had lain down in the sand, thus avoiding the painful con- 
tact with the wind, which lashed our faces like blows of a whip. The temper- 
ature which preceded this evenl had suddenly changed. An icy cold had 
the place ol the heal we had experienced since morning; like the currents oi 
warm and cold water which meet in rivers and the ocean, this cold air seemed 
to fall from a celestial glacier. Our unhappy asses suffered horribly; in spite 
..I their instinct oi self-preservation, and the devoted efforts oi our Arabs, these 
miserable beasts were seized with real convulsions as they struggled and rolled 
over, trying to gel out ol the sand that continually re-covered them. They bled 
from eyes and nose, and in the midst ol this general scuffle we thought oi the 
army of Cambyses, who, surprised like us in the desert, returned without a single 
. hossepotl 

"On the a\ou,d oi our dragoman himself, this was a terrible day, and one 

ol the severest ol our expedition. Mill we were obliged to move on This 

was difficult enough; after having found the greatet part oi our accessories, we 
set ourselves to work to exhume our asses ami to get them to go on farther. 
We had swathed our laces in veils and kouffies, hut the sand penetrated every- 
thing, and lis violenci had tiearlj taken off the skm. Ai the end of two hours 
this khamsinn abated, happily tor us, but we found ourselves confronted by 
a new trouble. In an exactly opposite direction from that we were following, 
the mirage caused us to see endless lines id palm trees, our critical situation, 
this deception, and the contrary direction we were taking, all contributed to 
render us very anxious as to the denouement of our day. At last the Arabs, 
whose eyes are used to I he desert and its snares, pointed "lit to us real palm 
but it was only two kilometers farther on that we began to barely per- 
ceive them. These two little green tufts on the horizon ol' this ocean of sand 
had the effect of promised land finally sighted. Welch like crying out, 'Land! 
land'' As soon as we reached these trees ol deliverance, we and our asses 
threw ourselves down to take a little siesta, which was absolutely indispen- 
sable in view ot (air fatigued state. The indefatigable camels carrying our 
luggage, being above these little human weaknesses, continued directlv on to 
Tamyeh, where we were to rejoin them, finding our tents read] to receive us. 
A g 1 stretch ol the desert remained for us to cross, and it was with diffi- 
culty that, rousing ourselves from our slumber, we took up our inarch. The 
soil had. however, changed in its character, the road which we followed still 
bearing the imprint (d the footsteps id" men and camels; we were approaching 
countries more solidly established and less movable than the sands that hail just 

laihl to swallow us up. By the more assured stepping of our animals we felt 
we were on rocks, still covered with sand, but which were soon to make a strik- 
ing appearani 

"Am i having climbed some uneven ridges, we found ourselves suddenly 

on the border of an immense ravine, a real precipice several hundred meters 



1.11 1. AND WORKS Ot Jl l.\ I Ia>.\ 1,1 i 135 

wide. This natural canal reaches beyond Tamyeh to the lake Birket-Kerouti 
li serves, like two others, to hold the waters oi the Nile, which complete^ fill 
ii a 1 the time oi the overflows. Jusl now ii was dry, and presented a mosl savage 
and frightful appearance. Bj .1 caprice of nature, its heaps oi rocks seemed to 
be the rums oi a greal citj precipitated into the abyss, Weeds and shrub oi 
every description tilled up the gaps and made a natural resorl for the most 
ferocious beasts we could imagine We were not altogether wrong, and this 
Egyptian savanna merits only too well its reputation, for it is then thai 
numerous wild boars have established a republic most disastrous to the inhab- 
itants of the neighborhood. The havoc they make in the crops is a veritable 
calamity lor the country, which can barely raise .1 sufficient supply, literally 
surrounded as 11 is b\ the desert. Souvenirs of the chase made this locality 
especially interesting to our colonel [Gerome], who was not there for the firsl 
timi and who executed, the next day, the finest coup de fusil thai had ever been 
si . 11 l>\ the inhabitants oi Tamyeh. The \ illage, which is quite large, stn 
out before us on the other side oi this immense ravine, the passage of which was 

not of the easiest . but two hours after, we were installed under our tents, pitched 

to the northeast, facing the principal gate. This considerable oasis presents on 
the whole a charming landscape, trained by a brilliant golden line which incloses 
it on every side. It is an island ot verdure in the midst oi an endless stretch ol 
sand. From our encampment, perched on the heights, the slightest details ol 
1 Ih \ illage were visible. 

' The principal gate was in tront ol us. a sort ol semicircular arcade, com- 
posed of alternate dried .and burned bricks. Here was the rendezvous ol all the 
arrivals the great market where all the important personages ol the locality 
gathered together. On the right a pretty minarel stretched gayly upward like a 

village Steeple, Overtopping everything, and several clumps of palm trees broke 
the monotony of the roofs and terraces of the buildings. Animals ol all kinds, 
as well as the people, wander over the tops ol the houses, and in Ms ensemble 
this lite on the roots presents a most unique effect. Women laying out linen. 
Arabs mending the roofs, and children running and leaping from house to house 
like so many cats. But vyhat struck us most forcibly as predominating m this 
comical animation, was tie' incredible number ol dogs , we had never seen so 
many, nor such varieties ; not a terrace that was not adorned with at least three 
or four of these animals; crouching like sphinxes, thev watched on, as far as 
they could see. This picturesque glance at a city ol dogs was to be followed 
by a much less cheerful impression during the night. From the setting to the 
rising ol the sun, these thousands of guardians oi the peace called and replied to 
each other in the most plaintive, piercing, and discoid, ml of tones. One could 
believe that Jezebel allowed herself to be eaten by them to enjoy the lelieitv ol 

no longer hearing them! Our state oi fatigue after this cruel day in the desert 
rendered this tree concert mih the more insupportable, and it lasted from six 
o'clock in the evening nil live o'clock in the morning -without the slightest 
entr'acte. This horrible night was a long-continued nightmare; ems and men- 
aces were in vain. Our dragoman, in an excess ol zeal, killed two of these 



i.V> III I l.\l> WORKS <>l Jll.\ ll:i<\ (,/,/,', 'ill 

gentlemen with his revolver which made matters still worse, lor all the dogs 
m the village ran i" eal up their comrades, and there was a tempest () i bow] 
ings thai would have terrified Dante I With the rays of the sun the infernal 
mi, iii ,11.1 ceased, and calm was at last re-established. It was time, for we were 
ball dead from want of sleep, nol having been able to close our eyes during 
the whole night. 

Ih, daj after, with the help ol several natives, a lirst attempt at a hunt 
was organized ; the sheikh of Tamy&b was greatl] interested in this expedition, 
and had promised bis active assistance, and we expected on his part a deploy- 
ment ot forces in proportion to the 
,«aa^fl8|g&5. enthusiasm he had exhibited the 

re. The next morn- 
ing every one was ready, 
awaiting the promised 
reinforcements ; we 
/^p ■ were under arms in 

the village square, 
when w< percen ed a 
In- fellow, simply clad in a brown tunic, much loo short tor him ; he ran toward 
us. frisking and gesticulating like a madman. This monkey was the son of the 
sheikh himself, and aside from this title to our consideration, no detail of his 
exterior compensated for the too greal simplicity of his accoutcrment. Cries. 
and pirouettes in space were all that we could at firsl obtain from this 
acrobatic Nimrod. On our remarking that In was only armed with his ten 
fingers to fight the enemy of the desert, he rushed immediately to the tenl where 
our tood was prepared, and chose an enormous kitchen knife, which he held 
between bis teeth in order to gesticulate more freely' This strange companion- 
in-arms was escorted h\ nine 01 ten oilni A rabs. armed with sticks, who were 
to arouse, track, surround, and beat up the game. They began along the deep 

ravine which divides the entire province. After several fruitless battu 
enormous wild boar was pointed out to Cicrome. Three shots, skillfull] placed 
were tired into this huge animal, who. with a shoulder and a loot broken, twice 
ivored to continue his furious rush, and then rolled over into the bed of 
the torrent, from which he was fished out by the Arabs. A camel had to 
carry back tins boar, fabulously large for this country, where they are generally 
small; this one weighed over three hundred pounds. 

"'Idle son of the sheikh could no longer contain himself; preceding the 
Cortege, he and his knife executed indescribable fantasias in the air. ■.!/<>///.' 
. I foil/'. 1 Kalas! Cawaga Girdme kchir. 1 ' Such were the shouts with which the 
entire village deafened our ears. David bringing back the head of Goliath had 
certainly no greater a success! Idle Copt population, like good Christians, 
came to assist us in consuming this bulky came, and a general distribution 

was made m the village lo our cO-religionistS. Everybody was at the least, 
lor the dogs had their pail of this genera] quarry, ami. in spite ot the large 
crowd gathered together, eagles ami other voracious buds swooped down in 



THE TERRACE OF THE SERAGLIO 






II II IM> WORKS OF J I: l.\ L&ON G&RdME. 137 

their midst and disputed the prey with them. Haunch of wild-boar, sauce 
mad&re; filet oi boar, sauce poivrade; cutlets oi boar without sauce, figured 
for several days on our bills of laic To scud some to France to comfort oui 
families would have been a greal joy to us. but postal difficulties hindered us, 
and this generous movement of our hearts was interred in the depths Oi our 
stomachs! Toward evening we all assembled again and proceeded to invest 
one oi tin large ponds to the southwest of the village. Hunting is no longer 
bunting in this marvelous country, in this veritable promised land, where the 
keepers must have been on a strike for centuries, Neither the grains oi sand 
on the seashore, nor the stars in heaven, can give an idea oi the Hocks of wild 
ducks which blackened the water. As night fell, these compact masses seemed 
lo be immense Boating raits, which divided into squads under our incessant 

firing. Fortunately foi them the darkness came quickly ami put an end to 

this St. Bartholomew's massacre. Besides, the tough llesh oi this duck is 
cable to eat. and in these innumerable llocks only a tew acceptably 
increased the resources of our kitchen. The next da\ our intrepid hunters 
left with regret this enchanted country, and 1 1 1 i — . too short sojourn was 
recalled in the evenings under our tent, with recitals of all we had don 
all we could have done' As we hit camp, the leathered population c 

us without ill-will and swelled the chorus oi the villagers, who lavished on 
us the most flattering ovations in honor of the three-hundred-pound boar of 
whose undesirable presence the bravery and skill ot (ierotne had relieved them. 
From the back of his ass, one of us killed a do/.en pigeons with one charge, and 
the menus of the province of Fayoum left the most cherished memori 
the heart oi our cook. These Orgies of game were lacking in the desert, and 
we often longingly recalled Tamyeh at a time when English preserved meats 
and sardines formed the chief part of our supplies, 

•' From Tamyeh. the extreme northeast of the province of Fayoum. we 
were to mov toward the center, stopping at the village oi Senouhres, which, 
aftei Medinet, is one of the most important localities. We were still in the 
bill the sand was less powdery and less dangerous than that W< bad 
crossed from Dachour. 1 lere the soil was firmer, and as we could all move 
mori easily, we fully expected to sleep that night at Senouhres (which citj 
furnished the theme foi Gerflme's celebrated picture, the Saber-dance before the 

Pashd). As we gradually left the sand, the village appeared in the distance like 

a huge fortress perched on a plateau, graciously crowned by minarets and 
cupolas. These domes, which appeared first, belonged to an ancient cemetery, 
quite large, bu1 abandoned and in ruins to-day, but which, by its importance, 
testified as to the rob' played by Senouhres at another epoch. A numbei oi 
ponds, brooks, and little canals render the approach to the village tedious and 
ii igreeable. Passing suddenlj from fine sand to a marshy soil, we consumed 
I hours in going around and crossing these innumerable little obsi 

This city of Senouhi unit oi its commercial, and. above all, agricultural 

importance, possesses a regular administrative machinery. Authority there is 

installed on an official footing equal to our most intricate sub-prefectures ; 



i.V- LIFE \ND WORKS Of II l\ LEON G&RdME. 

therefore, by the advice oi our dragoman, we prepared for a series oi formalities 
and salamaleks! According to friendly indications, after having made the 
circuit of the village, our tents were pitched to the south on a prairie on the 
bank of a charming stream, and in the shade of ravishing palms. We had 
patriotically unfurled our national flag before the i yes ol the dazzled population, 
and were almost disposed to pul on our pearl-graj gloves to go to pay our 
respects to the sheikh and the other magistrates of the city. Already our 
animals, decked in their gayesl trappings, had crossed the ford which led to the 
town hall; already we almost tasted the coffee they were fatally sure to 
us, when our dragoman, who marched at the head ol the procession, entered 
into a long conference with a young Aral), magnificently dressed, who. running 
breathlessly to meet us, indulged in a tnosl expressive pantomime in order 
to explain his meaning, We stopped; the dragoman apprised us that, warned 
oi our visit, the sheikh and all the municipal council, tor reasons oi gravest 
importance, found it absolutely impossible to receive us; that they themselves 
would lake the trouble to eome and bid us welcome the next morning; and 
meanwhile they presented then mosl respectful homage and prayers for our 
prosperity, etc., etc. Not at all annoyed by this disappointment, we were pre- 
paring to regain our tents; but some' ol us, not wishing to lose time, applied to 
the dragoman, who, according to directions easily obtained, conducted us to the 
quarter where the dancers lived the almees, whom we had seen in a mirage, 
and ol whom we dreamed every evening and sometimes in the afternoon ' 

" Nun numerous detours among small, dirty houses, we arrived at a 
little door, through which Arabs of all a^es. se\es. and si/.es were going m and 
out. It was not the mysterious sanctum we had imagined, guarded l>\ fantas 
tie beings adorned with sabers and costumes ol brilliant colors; entrance was 
free to all. and we went in without the slightest formalitj oi ,m announcement. 
In the midst oi a little, square court, seated on nigs and mats, a dozen women 
were munching oranges and drinking araki with some fairly well-dressed person- 
ages, who were nol at all disturbed by our entrance. These gentlemen, whom we 
saluted </ I'arabe, returned our greetings very politely, made room tor us beside 
them, and invited us to sil down en famille. We had certainly come to see 
these ladies, but we had nol ioreseen the too-easy reception accorded to US. Our 

verj limited acquaintance with the Arabic language placed a forced restraint 
on the expression oi our sentiments. The words thai we knew the best, just 

at that time, were those referring to the saddling oi our asses and the loading 

oi our camels. And we therefore ran the risk oi committing an unpardonable 
rudeness in reciting our little repertoire <>t the stable ' ' k'oi.ss kitir.' ' and 'Kitir 
koiss .' ' formed the retrain which accompanied the dainties we lavished upon 
them. •)'(/.' habibi ! " was their lavontc response to our compliments, and ibis 
petit Trianon on all-fours did not lack a certain royal cachet.' Our rivals seemed 
to Ik- charmed by our efforts to be amiable. Several of these women, rather 
better-looking than the others, wore ornaments, collars, and bracelets oi great 
price; attached by threads to their hair plaited m little braids, numerous 
,,! mo|,| ol all dimensions certified to the sumptuous bakchichs which had 



LIFE AND WORKS OF II .l.\ LEON GfiKfl.MI , vi 

been lavished mi them. One oi these danseuses struck us, not by the regular 
beauty oi her features, l>ui by the savage character < > t her face and her fiery 
glance. As an artist, she seemed to be the object of the particular attentions 
>it our quondam friends. Our dragoman asked her name she was called 
Hasne ; and 'Hasne kolss kitir ' was a ready-made new phrase whicb had an enor- 
mous success. Ii became the mot oi the evening; and 1 turned ihis success 
into an absolute triumph by a coup-de-theatre whicb our native rivals could nol 

foreseen I drew from my pocket one oi those thirty-sou scarfs which 
ordinarily form pari of the Sunday attire oi our peasants. I began by showing it 

tn Hasne; like a real monkey, she seized it, put it ; mil her neck, and then on 

her head, and was aboul to run away lor lear that I should lake her trea in 

from her. I made her understand that I gave it toiler as hakehieh ; her 
joy knew no limit; she approached me wnli convulsions oi satisfaction which 
resembled epilepsy! In my triumph, what I feared mosl was to he bitten I 
Torrents oi words, sharp and discordant, assailed my ears, and the dragoman 
vainlj essayed to translate lor me the odd Oriental expressions ol avagi grati- 
tude. Our Aral) neighbors', without being saddened by our success, withdrew, 
leaving us the held of battle; we profited by this to arrangi foi a formal enter- 
tainment ai our headquarters. Quite astounded by our conquest, and pursued by 
the joyful cries oi these princesses] we regained the camp and organized an 
-■Hi. id reception for the next day. We were to have danci oi the alm£es, 
illuminations, games, and a hall, with or without the permission of the mayor I 
However, we intended to invite him and his stall to this charming f6t< 

" We awaited their visit in the morning, the formal m\ llalion was read\ , 
they had only to make their appearance. Hut imagine the general astonishment 
when they did finally arri\ e ; they were the same personages whose tete-a-h /<■ we 
had disturbed the evening previous! We could not help recalling the majestic 
phrases used by their ambassadoi to express their regret at not being able to come 
and meet us' The municipal council had certainlj not had a dull stance, and 
chance had allowed us to behold these austere officials in full exercise ol their 
functions! However, the whole affair was to them so simple that they immedi- 
ately recognized us all and expressed great pleasure at seeing us again, almost 
having an air of complimenting us on the manner in which we had supplanted 
them' Coffee and araki successively circulated in cups and glasses, the most 
extravagant Oriental compliments were exchanged, always by means of the 
dragoman, and all went lor the best under the most beautiful tent id the most 
hospitable oi encampments. This serious and official reception offered so sin- 
gular a contrast to the merrymaking of the daj before, thai it needed all out 

iiitrol not to laugh in the in oi these grave municipal councilors, whom 
we had surprised very much at home in the Caf<§ Anglais. Hut all was gravity 
this morning. Our guests remained to breakfast with us to the detriment ol our 

tablecloth ; il was nol a slight operation with them, lor they managed with their 

fingers the 1 1 for which we usually need a knife and fork. Our Dijon mustard 

had a tremendous success, as we had the pleasure o! observing later on. We 
did not say 'adieu.' but only 'au revoir,' till the fete of the evening. Our 



i I" ///•/■ \ND WORKS 01 II IX I lih\ G&RdMl 

dragoman had buckled on bis sabei and wrapped a new kouffie around his 
tarbouch a prooi with him of some extraordinary and solemn occurrence. It 
was seven o'clock in the evening; we had dined well in order not to fain! in the 
middle of the ceremony. Paper lamps had been artistically hung in our largesl 
tenl : as in the circus oi Caracalla, all had been anticipated, ordered, and clas- 
sified ; our beds and trunks formed loges oi the firsl and second galleries; in the 
cornei on the left the imperial %e, the place oi honor among Mussulmans; on 

thi right, facing the municipal council, a carpel folded, 1 111 colonel [Gerome] 

and ourselves, formed the orchestra chairs; and, scattered around in the afore- 
mentioned galleries, tin.- suite oi the council, the relatives and friends oi thi 
dancers. Finally, our servants and camel drivers, crammed in like so many 
sardines, formed one oi the mosl picturesque sides oi this strange picture. The 
lamps were burning with impatience when the dancei Hasne (she oi the thirty- 
sou cravat) made a mosl overwhelming entree, dressed in a long blue rob 
spangled with gold, and caught at the bell with fringes oi silk: some yellow 
stuff, artistically wound around her head, formed a mosl striking coiffure, 
together with the innumerable braids which fell upon her shoulders, several of 
which were brought around ovei her forehead bj tiny gold rings. The metallic 
sound oi the napoleons that jingled in her hair, and the piercing cries which 
formed a prelude to her first steps, the barbaric instruments oi the musicians, 
who had already begun their accompaniment, all those strange noises lent some- 
thing of the diabolical to this seem-, so utterly novel to some oi us. 

" The orchestra was composed oi three instruments as singular in tone as the 
dance they were about to accompany ; there was the darabouka, a drum in terra- 
cotta : the hetnengdh,a kind oi violoncello with two strings, and the zoumara,a 
sort oi double shepherd's pipe. Our best rugs had been carefull} spread on the 
spot where the dance was to take place. The artiste did not wait to be urged; 
at the firsl sounds of the darabouka, Eiasne planted herseli boldly in the middle 
of the tent. Doubtless animated by the size oi her audience and encouraged by 
the pnncch bakchichs we had promised her, and perhaps roused by the presence 
oi her municipal council, she served up to us the mosl exquisite refinements oi 
her choregraphic art. Her brilliant eyes darted lightnings, and at a given signal 
i in dance began. At tirst, slow and cadenced in her movements, the danseuse 
scarcely moved from the spot to which she seemed hound by her feet : then, the 
rhythm of the music accelerating a little, imperceptible and hast} steps suc- 
ceeded the incredible inflections oi her body and the almost convulsive move- 
ments that form the basis oi the dance of the .dunes As the musicians 
ised the time of the step, her gestures, contortions, and the least movement 
ol the arms and head assumed a more feverish and savage character. Almost in 
a state of rhythmic epilepsy, she sank on her knees, executing new figures, 
strange and picturesque than the preceding ones, combining the suppleness oi a 
serpent with the grace oi a gazelle. Such was the spectacle which charmed us 
i"i positively an entire hour; applause, bonbons, oranges, araki, and bakchich 
were not stinted' It was a genuine success, and she musl have surpassed her- 
self to judge bv the delirium oi admiration which overpowered the audience in 



LIFE AND WORKS OF JEAN LEON GEROiil 141 

genera] and two of our camel drivers in particular. Both oi them blind in the 
same eye, this misfortune had doubtless drawn them together, and it was nol 
pure chance that placed them in the same loge oi this traveling theater. The 
araki and the music had already prepared them foi th< most ooisj manifestations 
of beatitude. But when 1 1 asm- fell on the rug like a wounded lioness, then 
enthusiasm knew no hounds ; one oi them look the other's head in his hands and 
kepi time with it, with genuine bowlings oi satisfaction; be seemed to wish to 
twist the head oil in order lo throw il a 
bouquel to the alm£e the other cheerfully 
allowing himseli to he thumped and twisted. 4fJ^*i 

At the end oi the seance, the I wo t iirhans. u h 1 cb 

at the beginning were cocked in the most 

pronounced manner over the ens oi the pro- ^\ 

prietors, finished by tumbling off entirely, 

exposing to view their mysterious Mahout, I ,V\ 

nothing could be more comical than the spec- 
tacle oi these one-eyed beauties, with hare heads. 
almost strangling each other to mutually express 
their happiness! Hut the most beautiful things 
have an end. The lamps were beginning to 
smoke; one oi them look Inc. and this was 
the signal for a general retreat, alter innumer- 
able salamaleks. 'There had not been too much 
damage, Our domestics were enchanted, and we 
bad gained the esteem of the council, so the 
satisfaction was general. The danseuse, con- 
ducted to her home on our most beautiful bour- 
riguot, was also pleased with us and did not 
delay giving us proofs of her lively gratitude! 
I he next morning at live o'clock we v. 

roused by the squeaking of feminine voices from the sleep which we so 
sadly needed after oui soiree, as laborious as it was exciting. It was llasne. 
with all her friends, who had come to see us. ■ )\i kouloum habibi kitir.' We 
dl her best friends,' and at sunrise she hastened to greet us! They 
1 her to bave patience while serving her with coffee, and we spent a 
gay morning all together. The conversation did not vary from the perpetual 
' koiss kittr,' bu1 gestures and bonbons made up the deficiency. To amuse her. 
I had the impudence to show her a frightful puppet which I had broughl from 
Paris, and wlmh had alread) delighted us in several circumstances. This stupid 
marionette, suspended bj a caoutchouc, made a most ridiculous appearance. I 
generally hung it on the neck of my ass. for I had vowed thai il should see all 

the countries we were to visit ; a hit ol nonsense lh.it was only excused hy the 
discovery of a similar doll in the baggage o! one of our party, at Sinai ' We 
called him Jules, and Jules certainly did not realize his happiness. lie had 
ascended the pyramids with me and was now i" < an una- in an exciting d 



i I-' /.//■/■. AND WORKS Ot // l\ LjtOA G&RdMl 

Hasne played with it like a real monkey, balancing ii on her head and sticking 
ii <ni her ears, with cries of joy thai were enough to frighten our animals. I 
wenl i" make a sketch in the afternoon, and when nighl came Hasne and |ules 
had disappeared ' This elopement was very annoying I Whether he passed the 
nighl on the hearl or the dtagdre of the lady, he has never confided to me. Only 
the hall of the nexl daj was lost in searching lor this article de vertu.and the 
authority oi the entire municipal council was necessary to secure a judicial 
separation and surrender of the stolen treasure, ^fter indulging in this series of 
dramatic emotions, we wished to profit seriously by our stay in this interesting 
villagi .and we became adroit in escaping from the too frequent visits of Hasne, 
who had taken an excessive- liking to our society, U\ means oi continual 
bakchichs sin- was mad. to understand that we had to work and that we would 
call on her in her den. which we did with the intention oi photographing Iter, hut 
the smell ol the collodion turned her stomach and produced a sudden hi of sea- 
sickness, which spoiled our negative! 

•• In its topographical configuration, the village of Senouhres offers, on a 
in. >i. important scale the same aspect as the village ot Dachour. Located on 

.. plateau considerably elevated al the level of the surrounding country, 

Senouhres presents on every side the silhouette of a gigantic fortress. Like 
Dachour. the inundations of the Nile are the sole cause oi this particular situa- 
tion, Al the lime ol the rising of the river this plain, where we were encamped, 
■-hi. I.d by these magnificent palms, forms, it appears, an immense lake as far as 
Hi. end of the wood where our tents were pitched. Thi successive elevation and 
ision ol these lakes produce in the lay of the land a slow 1ml steady lowering. 
Immense plateaus ot earth in successive stories viadtialh form the buttresses 
of the village, and the rOOtS Of the palm trees serve to consolidate these natural 

ramparts, which the water ..its away and displaces a little every v ear. Whether 
this is the only guarantee of solidity, or whether this veritable mountain has for 
its base a foundation of indestructible rock, the village offers none the less, m 
its whole extent, the appearance of a fortified city entirely built of earth, from 
the highest minaret of its little mosques to the foot of its walls. Chance had 
placed us opposite the most traveled passage which leads from the plain to the 
village by way of the ford, coming out directly on the market-place, i It was 
here that Gerdme sketched his picturesque Fellah Women Carrying Water.) 
The women ol Senouhres seemed to have chosen this spot to come and gel water, 
either because the brook appeared to them cleaner just at this point, or through 
curiosity to see our encampment. From the rising to the setting of the sun. 
hundreds of women and young ^irls descended to the water, following each 
other in a procession with the majesty ol vestals going to the sacrifice. Without 
being frightened off by our observation, they devoted themselves merrily to the 
diverse operations which ordinarily precede, accompany, and follow the filling ol 
a jug of water. On arrival, a neighbor helps to lift down the jug from the little 
cushion which serves to steady it on the head ; the water is afterward carefully 
inspected ; the woman then raises her dress a lit lie above I lie knee, knotting it at 
her belt with one of the ends of the veil which covers her head : she then per- 



LIFE AND WORKS OF JEAX LEON GERditE 143 

forms the tirsi cleaning oi the jug, which does not lack in picturesque detail, 
owing to the adroil and supple movements displayed in this firsi operation. 
Holding the jug in one hand, she rubs ii vigorously with the other, filling and 
emptying il several times to assure hersell ol its cleanliness; then, at the risk of 
losing her footing, she advances boldly, sometimes to her waist, to dip up the 
clearest water from the deepesl pari oi the brook. Ii is in this last operation 
that, with the most graceful and unpremeditated movements, these women 
struggle against the violenc< of the current, the weigbl of the jug making the 
exil from this absolute bath more difficult. It is then the aid oi a friend is 
generally accepted, either to cross over a difficult spol or to place in position this 
tii .11 j amphora. The owner bends, gathering together, as besl she may, her wel 
and disordered drapery, while her neighbor, with a single sweep, hits the burden 
and balances it artistically on the head oi hei friend, where several bits oi i loth, 
twisted together, form a little cushion. Waiting then one for the other to go 
back to the village, the} recommence the picturesque procession in which they 
had just come with their empty jugs. Their pace, less swift, was slackened on 
accounl of the slope and difficulties oi the path, and a thousand incidents 
occurred to enliven this march of statues, more or less vi iled . a dog that light- 
ened them, a child that tumbled, were pretexts lor the mosl complicated stop- 
pages and graceful groupings. It would have been pushing indiscretion to 
to ask for ten minutes' motionlessness on the part oi this charming crowd, but 
we were able l>\ rapid sketching to note their most frequent attitudes." 

In (ierome's picture these "graceful groupings" are reproduced in his most 
masterly manner. 

". . . . We were to leave Sciiouhrcs the next day. and we paid a farewell 
visit to the sheikh and the notabilities ol the country. The danseuses, and 
M 1 in particular, came to express their griel at our departure ; we had bought 
ol llii 111 a goodly quantity of dresses and veils, and our short stay must have been 
quite profitable for them. The facl ol preferring ihin^s that had been worn to 
new ones, utterly bewildered them as to the use we could make ol them. We 
revived lor them the tale ol Aladdin and his wonderful lamp, leaving them new 
scarfs I01 old ones Alter repeated adieux. and still more numerous bakchichs, 
we started foi M6dinet, the most important city in the province of Fayoum. 

"We wire obliged to piss twice- b\ Medinel in order to reach and return 
from Fidemine. We could have taken anothei load, but a sad occurrence com 
pelled this detour ; one of our party was suffering painfully from exposure lo the 
sun. His stale of health made it eery inadvisable for him to continue the 
expedition, ami we were obliged to have him transported lo Cairo, where com- 
petent attention could be gi\ en to him to help him out of this disagreeable state. 
The journey from Senoulires was long and laborious, although we Wi 
cultivated regions sheltered from the khamsinn in its infinite varieties, ["he 
remarkable numbered canals which intersect this portion of the province make 
the road a perfect labyrinth ; in default oi a map, a native guide is indispensable, 



II LIFE XND WORKS OF // I \ ii,<\ GEXdME. 

in order not to go astray nor to go over the same ground twenty times, imalh 
arriving at the starting point. It is in this locality, near the grand canal, called 
the Canal de foseph, thai vegetation attains must extraordinary proportions and 
surpasses the most exaggerated conceptions. En many places we passed under 
absolute vaults of verdure formed by enormous branches ol tuts and shrubs, 
which we were accustomed to see in much more ordinary dimensions. The 
lemon and orange trees had the appearance and vigor of our finest oaks; forests 
ot cacti and aloes bordered the roads as far as the eye could reach and seemed 
to form an impenetrable rampart. Alter having followed these marvelous paths, 
we came out on one of the largesl branches oi the Canal de Joseph. This canal, 
oi which we will speak in our second passage by NU'din. I of the most 

import. ml works in all Egypt: verj curious legends are connected with its 
construction and biblical origin. The animation around the city oi Medinel 
was entirely different hum thai ot the cities and villages we had just passer). 
Soldiers in uniform, cavaliers richl} equipped, indicated the rank and impor- 
tance, commercial and official, which spoiled the picturesque side and local coloi 
oi the place. Indeed, it was quite difficult to obtain permission to encamp in the 
environs, from the inli.ilni.mis, who already have lost that rural simplicity of 
costume and gentleness of manner that characterize the fellah. 

"Our dear invalid, accompanied by an intelligent domestic, was intrusted 
l,, good hands, and, while lie went hack to Cairo, we started lor the villa oi 
Fidemine, generally neglected by travelers, and winch has therefore only the 
better preserved its cachet de sauvagerie, so curious ami rare to-day. We gradu- 
ally ascended the Canal de Joseph. Reaching veritable savannas of plantation-, 

entirely new to us, we followed a series of paths through w Is where Robinson 

Crusoe could easily have imagined himself on his island. Enormous tropical 
\ ines stretched Irom one side of the road to the other, binding together the palm 
which sometimes barred the road with their distorted and knottj trunks. 
Our baggage-camels had great trouble in .^ciime; through the thicket, and our 
steeplechase threatened to last till nightfall. We were unconsciously ascending 
continually while in the woods, hut the extraordinary vegetation prevented us 
from noticing that we were very much above the level ot the surrounding 
country. Suddenly we emerged on the brink of an immense precipice, at the 
bottom ot which ran a hrook. which we perceived between the trunks ot the 
palms and aloes which lined the sides of the ravine. We were therefore obliged 
to make a horribly steep descent on foot, holding our camels by the bridle and 
helping them a-- best we could, this long and difficult descent making tis appre- 
ciate the heighl to winch we insensibly had climbed ; tor. thinking that we 
must he going down at least to the internal regions, we simply reached the 
natural level id' a charming brook at the picturesque entrance oi the village ot 
Fidemine. Our tents were pitched beside this limpid water in a virgin forest. 
Vside Irom the few village huts which we had seen at the bottom of the ra\ me 
nothing till then had indicated the presence of human beings in this part ot 
the world. \i our approach, animals of everj description tied away with sa 
cries, as if they were the sole inhabitants. Not a single person having appeared, 



LIFE AND WORKS Of JEAN LEOA 147 

we organized a watch for the night, to protecl al least our poultry from the 
beasts who deafened us with their howlings. Were they wolves or only jackals? 
The sonority of the ravine increased the effect ol these noises, and, our imagina 
lion aiding us. we were delighted al the idea of an encounter with really savage 
beasts, Our revolvers under our bolsters, some of us slept with one eye open, 
but after all we got oil with a nuit blanche. The next morning, all these ferocious 
animals having assuredly taken Bight al the sighl of our warlike preparations, 
we took a delicious hath m the very torrent where, during the night, one imag- 
ined all the lions in the desert were quenching their thirst, in chorus, to excite 
their hunger. We were still in our bath when the \ isit was announced ol the 
Sheikh of Fidemine himself, with his suite and the older members ol his family. 
These were no longer the merry old fellows oi Senouhn ;, but true ^rab fellahs, 

as simple and dignified in their slightest gestures as the others had app I 

frivolous. The reception was touching and cordial. Through a sentiment of 
hospitality truly biblical, the young sheikh had brought his ^ilts of welcome. 
certainly ignorant as to our ability to return his generosity. The charming i • 
of this young Arab, the amiable dignity of the old men who accompanied him, 
this ensemble ol' simple and primitive manners, was admirably framed in bj 
this virgin forest, where nature had been untouched. His gift consisted 
immense dish ol rice, with pieces ol thicken, sprinkled with saffron, swimming 
around in it : an enormous pilau, which is the ordinary official piece de resistance 
ol every Oriental repast ; we united them in our turn to sit down under our 
tents and to partake ot our menu the following day. While we were at table, 
an odd circumstance occurred to make this little fete memorable lor us; for, 
restricting ourselves to our admiration of the country, our conversation did 
not otter any great variety; the number ol his sheep and camels, his age, his 
formed the substam e ol the questions addressed by us to the young 
sheikh, and to which he replied with a charmingly natural precision and 
simplicil 5 . 

"' How long is it,' asked GerOme, since you had a visit from strange trav- 
elers?' for to judge l>\ the country, Europeans had not often passed that way; 
and one thing is certain, that when gas is pul in al Fid6mine,i1 will first be found 
here else ' 

\i this question the sheikh meditated silently, as it he wished to give the 
exact responsi Mohammed himsell could desire, 'Five years ago,' replied he; 
'my father was then Sheikh of Fidemine. 1 was quite young, but I remembei 

1 n perfectly.' Giving the precise details then of the time ol year and 

appearance oi the travelers, we found thai he was unconsciously describing 
in 0,111c himsell on his second trip to Egypt. Then, .after a pause of several 
minutes, 'My father.' added he, ' related to me that still five years before that. 
strangers came to hunt near our village and one of these Europeans placed him- 
self in front of our house, ed before a little box, and seemed to be absorbed 

in some work quite strange to us.' This strange labor was oil-painting, and the 
traveler absorbed before his little box, which he held on his knees under his 
great parasol, was GerOme again, on his first trip I A periodic comet which one 



148 ///•/ IX/> II OXKS Of /I 1 \ 

oughl to see al Fidemine the 9th oi February, 1873, since it passes there every 
five 3 1 

"We had only to follow the caprices of this enchanting torrenl to make 
acquaintance with the country. Ascending the lefl bank, we reached the vil- 
lage Descending on our right, we penetrated an endless labyrinth of rocks, 
plants, aloes, and palms, where only serpents could circulate at case. Game 
was 'it* iii . 1 1 1 > abundant in this savage spol and we noticed footprints of ani- 
mals quite unknown to us. Our hunters could not resist the temptation, and. 
booted to the shoulders, they plunged into this almost impenetrable forest. 
Strange cries and howlings lured them on for a long time, hut the difficulty of 
moving around among the cacti and wild creepers that covered the precipices, 
rendered their efforts fruitless and gradually lessened their ardor. Birds of 
ever} possible plumage and an enormous Pharaohs rat were the only results 
o1 this first battue in a virgin forest. To judge by this rat. the cats oi Sesostris 
must have attained incredible proportions. This animal, however, has really 
but little analogy with the field-mouse, and nothing justilics the name ot rat 
unless it be the long head and pointed snout. These amphibious animals, 
uhuh swarm in hot. damp countries, are very destructive to vegetation on 
account ot the way in which they gnaw the roots of the trees which border the 
brooks, canals, and streams ot every description ; the Arabs hunt them inces- 
santly, but, iii spite ot their efforts, this animal is ,1 real plague in several 
countries. The next day being market-day, we had an opportunity ot seeing 
and sketching the most picturesque and animated groups where the most strik- 
ing types of the population naturally gather together. The family of the 
fellah was represented in all its completeness and primitive character; the men 
tall and Strong, with tine expressive features: the women small, and very 
vivacious in their movements; the children generally of a sickly aspect, and. to 
the age of ten years, clad only in the garments furnished by nature at their 
birth. In Egypl there exists a singular contrast between the admirable pro 
portions 11I the men and the almost pitiful and aged appearance ot the women. 
It is a sad and tatal result of the enervating climate and customs, by which 
these absurdly precocious natures are exhausted long before the age of hill 
development among us. Numerous bonks have treated at length these physio- 
logical and almost zoological questions, since here the woman is relegated to 
the state of a beast of burden, as soon as she has ceased to adorn the etagere 
oi a harem. Completely shaved for indispensable reasons ot cleanliness, the 
nun preserve, on the tops of their heads, a tuft of hair which bears the si 

.1 Mahomet. Is it the name of the prophet attached to this lock or the 

.elf that is boh ' lie that as it may, the Vxab rarely uncovers his skull, 

and he conceals, with an almost Britannic modesty, this ridiculous ornament. 

" In our soiree at Senouhres. chance procured us the favor oi seeing the 
MahometS ot two ot our camel-drivers, the only two we shall perhaps ever see. 
and we should be grieved to have lost this charming souvenir. 

"Ophthalmia is the veritable plague which disfigures a goodly hall of the 
population, and the number of blind and one-eyed people has multiplied to such 



/.//■/• l\/> WORKS 01 II M iia'\ ,,!A,'iii. 149 

an extent thai thru- is a proverb which sa'ys, 'Among three Arabs yon will a< • 1 
find Inn tour ej es ' 

" Rice, wheat, maize, and sugar-cane form the substance oi the commodities 
which figure 111 this open-air market, besides oranges and fruits oi every descrip- 
tion, which till the baskets and are almost given awaj instead ol being sold. 
Asses, camels, and buffaloes take the place of carls with these Oriental market- 
gardeners, and the women are 

1 the porters, while the 
proprietors smoke their chib- 
ouks and drink their coll- 
nonchalantly reclining on rugs 
and mats. Here, as every- 
where in the Orient, woman 
tills the role oi a domestic 
animal condemned to the most 
painful labor, and that most 
ill-suited to her delicate nature; 
a monstrous barbarism . con- 
secrated by the Mussulman 
religion, which is far from 
having disappeared from the 
Orient. The next day the 
young sheikh came to make 
us his adieux. and we left 
regretfully this picturesque and 
savage spol to regain Medinet. 
" Medmet (which Ger6m< 
ha- reproduced in his picture 
of The Fayoum) is the principal 
city of Fayoum, and ils name 

is generally accompanied by that oi tin province itself. M€dinet-el-Fayoum 
is very important from man} points oi view; commerce, trade, ami farming 
are organized and administered in due order and even with a certain official 
cachet. The viceroy has a resilience here and the movement takes on a 
In 1 it of the tumultuous character ot Cairo. The city is traversed in all its 
length by the immense Canal de Joseph, which reaches as far as the Lake 
Birket-Keroun, and at this point widens to a veritable river. This size, extra- 
ordinary for a canal, lias occasioned some discussion as to its real nature, 
some attributing it to the hand ot man and others considering it only a 
natural deviation of the Nile. Whether Joseph busied himself more or less with 

I he plan, or whether nature alone was the engineer-in-chief, the canal is none 
the less magnificent ; it is the principal artery of circulation and above all of 
irrigation of the whole province, from the Lake ol Birket-Keroun to the Nile. 
Immense barges and flat-bottomed boats, moored as far as the eye can see along 
the brick quays, come to seek the grains and straw ot the last harvests. 



150 LIFE <x/> works Of // tx i /. ox gerOme 

Numerous caravans compete with this transportation by water and serve to 
conned Medinel with Cairn. The importance oi this locality has decided the 
governmenl to build a railroad across the sands and shifting dunes, a line even 
now in process oi formation and on which we were soon to have an eventful 
experience. Mcdinct is not a second Cairo, with its variety of buildings and 
costumes; i1 is a greal provincial city, therefore there are few loungers bul 
much animation between the buyers and sellers of the cereals and products oi 
the country ; it is the commerce ol the fields on a grand scale. An interminable 
ba tar, almost parallel with the canal, stretches from one end to the other of the 
city ; one finds there in miniature the variety and crowding of the shops oi Cairo. 
I be merchants and inhabitants have, however, a remarkable simplicity of 
character. In spite of the uniformed soldiers who mingle with the crowd and 
spoil the picturesque side, there are always the fellahs with their long blue robes 
gathered Up at the belt with a cord, ami wearing a white turban or a simple 
brown or white skullcap m coarse felt. By reason of changes forcibly broughl 
about through this greater agglomeration, the women of Mcdinct are prettiei 
and less savage than those we have hitherto seen in the province. Mam dis- 
pense with tin- traditional veil, which by rights only allows the eyes to be seen, 
and. with a beginning of studied coquetry, they know how to dress their hair 
with taste, mingling with their long blue veils silk stuffs ol the most varied 
tones and ornaments oi gold and silver of the finest workmanship. 

"•1 was personally struck.' says Lenoir, ' l>\ a superb paii oi earrings which 
dangled like a harness on the neck of a girl who was pretty enough but had a 
very bad temper, for I bad a greal ileal of trouble m obtaining these jewels, 
though paying roundly for them in j, r old. I began by following her. although 
she walked very rapidly, carrying on her head the eternal earthen jug without 
which a woman fellah would no longer be a woman ; she was going to a little 
fountain which was at the extremity of the grand bazaar. The rapidity of her 
oid the increasing obstructions in the street made me despair of catching 
up with her. Perceiving that she was followed, and not supposing thai il 
simply for her earrings, she burned on still more rapidlj and finally tied 
through the bazaar like a gazelle, and wishing not to lose trace ol her in the 
swarming crowd. I trotted and galloped alternately, without which I should 
been infinitely distanced. I was just ready to give up the chase when a 
happy chance came to m\ aid. In hei precipil one ol her yellow 

babouches slipped from her foot ; although this precious savate had nothing in 
common with the slipper oi Cinderella, she stopped to recover it; but I had 
already picked it up as delicately as il it had been a fan and was aboul to hand 
it to her with a tour de fori e ol -race and distinction. Hut it had quite an unex- 
pected effect. What 1 intended as an a< t oi haute galanterie was on the contrary 
very badly misinterpreted ; with only one fool -hod. she began to run i 
ili. in ever, uttering ejaculations which had nothing of the melodious in their 

sharp syllables. Not wishing to pass for .1 thief, and hoping to correct this tirst 

unfortunate impression she bad received, I began to run. holding the yellow 

slipper ill m\ hand ; she was not disheartened, neither was I ! And we would 



///■/• AND WOKKs Of JEAN LEON GEE) 151 

gone on thus as far as the third cataract, had she nol tired first. Finally, 
arriving at the fountain, she sal down and consented to accept her heelless hool 
and even offered me a drink from her jug. Although my profile did nol n semble 
his. I thought of Eleazar and Rebecca. But instead «>i bringing her jewels and 
demanding her hand. I only had an affair with hei foot, and had jusl b 
her to let >«<■ have her ornaments! She was easily coaxed, for I showed her 
one of the irresistible thirty-sou scarfs, with which I nevei forgol to provide 
myself, and. thanks to this talisman of the Occident. I entered directly into 
business negotiations. " Bekam ii ' " I said, indicating her long earrings. She 
replied by a flood of words; not understanding the result ol her calculation, I 
showed hei a bil oi Arabic monej about the value ol two francs. She took it. 
and taking of) one ol her rings laid ii in my hand and made a pretense of going 
away. This was nol enough, and 1 was determined to have the other; there 
was a new- bargain to conclude and 1 returned at last to the bazaar with my 
trophy. The affair had evidently been profitable to her, for, " )'a habibi ketir," 
etc. I had become an "intimate friend," and as a souvenir she gave me her 
yellow babouches into the bargain. I put them on my heart and slipped away 
from my Cinderella in the crowd of the bazaar. 

I found my friends gravely seated in the shop of a tobacco-merchant, 
seemingly holding a council of war. and debating a question of the gravest im- 
portance. It was indeed worth the trouble; the merchant was showing them 
a small sphinx in granite, of the finest style and workmanship, without the 
slightest fracture. This treasure, this antique sculpture, charmed us all, and we 
discussed seriously the price and the conditions under which we could become 
owners ot this beautiful rosy stone. The polish ol the granite and the astonish- 
ing state ot preservation of this chef-d'oeuvre had so struck us that at firsl we 
were inclined to question its acte-de-naissance. Hut Gerome, grand amateur and 

archaeological expert, vouched tor the real value of the object. The price asked. 

however, seemed to him exorbitant, ami the weighl oi this miniature Pha 

monolith made him anxious as to the facility of transport hack to Bougival. 
How much has he since regretted the lost occasion, having had leisure to 
appreciate its value ! Few hits of sculpture in the Egyptian Miisee ol the 
Louvn have the charm ol this little sphinx, which is perhaps still hidden away 
m the shop at \hdiiiet, unless it figures on tin- clock of some unknown col- 
lector. Perhaps some Englishman has ordered a pendant in order to ha 
pair of fire-dogs of the twenty-third dynast] ' 

We leave this entertaining journal for an instant to describe G6r6me's picture 
of Le Fayoutn. It is a charmingly picturesque bit of landscape, with its spread- 
ing sycamore affording welcome shade foi man and beast, and its delicate doum- 
palms mirrored in the limpid watei across which a fellah trips lightly on a single 
plank, balancing a water jar. Beside the arched walls, with their graceful 
minarets, swarthy w hite-t urbatied Arabs move to and fro, chatting and chaffer- 
ing, or sit upon the embankments ol a rude bridge, watching the arrival ol a 



I.S-' I II I AND WORKS <>l / 1 I .\ L&ON Cl.i 

chief, who canters gayly up on his snow-white horse, followed by Ins retinue. 
A heavily laden ass plods along under the blazing sun, while others are awaiting 
theii burdens neat the walls ol the city. The scene is lull oi animation and 
color, and an infinite varietj oi grouping and outline. As Gautier says : "When 
draughtsmen and painters "I history apph their science to landscape, they obtain 
surprising effects. The landscapists by profession, ion much occupied with 
details, do not know how to bring "tit to advantage the contours that exist as 
much in .\ landscape as they do in the human face." To return to ihe records ol 
t Ins interesting journey : 

"Like all the cities oi Fayoum, Medinef contains a greal number ol Copts. 
Christians like ourselves; curious debris of this most ancienl population befor< 
the establishment oi [slamism in Egypi ; these Copts, in the exterior practice oi 
their religion, have preserved hut little oi the customs oi the ancienl Greek 
church. l"he ceremony ol the mass has been greatly altered, and the most 
prominent characteristic of their culte is the fashion in which thej eat pork and 
drink wine righl before the nose oi Mohammed I An Italian monk is installed al 
Medinet, the last stone ol a Latin monastery oi considerable importance, which 
had for its aim the bringing back to Catholicism oi these almosl barbarous 
Christians. 

" In our quality oi strangers, this good Father regarded us as compatriots 
and came to make our encampment a most affectionate visit. He gave us \er\ 
curious information aboui the Christian population oi Medinel in general and 
his flock in particular; invited us to come and see his little rectory, and was 
melted to tears when we spoke to him of Italy in his native language! He 
oil. nil us fruits from Ins garden and wine from his vineyard. In acknowledg- 
ment ol his amiability we presented him with a jar ol Liebig's heel-extract, which 
recalled to him his distant country and the bouillon he had not heard mentioned 
for forty-tour years ; lor roast beef, boiled beef, or beefsteaks are as unknown in 
Egypi as a file! oi crocodile m Paris, The buffalo is uneatable and the Egyptian 
ox, with Ins twisted feel and horns turned upside down, does not figure on the 
lisl id food supplies. Thanks to the importance oi Medinet, we had a good deal 
of trouble in finding a place for our tents. A laundry and abattoir, against which 
d unconsciously hacked up, forced us to move off farther. It was not an 
-Han io imd a place, lor the proprietors did not seem eager to entertain us. 
While we were strolling along one of the branches of the canal, our dragi 
like a \ el liable Solomon, solved the difficult \ 

\ large field, bordered with cacti, presented a most inviting appearance; 

only, the middle oi this attractive prairie was occupied by stacks ol maize, dried 
and carefullj arranged. 

"Bu1 a dragoman who has a real saber doesn'1 care for little details like 

ilia 1 Ai a Bign, the donkey-boys, camel-drivers, domestics, and he himseli 

i. ii io work; the hedge was scaled and the bunches of maize Hew through the 
air as il by enchantment. In the twinkling ol an eye Ihe place was cleared 



THE ROSE 



LIFE AND WORKS OF /■ GER&ME 1 53 

and our tents peacefully pitched on this field of battle so oddly conquered. 
We wen a little anxious as to the dinoucment oi this socialistic proceeding, and 
the interpretation the proprietor would not fail to put on it. Bui our drago- 
man, who was possessed ol a special toupet (cheek!), and a still more Oriental 
imagination, anticipated the danger; he wenl to see the owner of the field 
and explained that the prince (Gerdmi I) whom he escorted was doing him a 
great honor in thus being willing to install himsell on his property I Charmed 
by this flattering preference, the proprietor was almosl read) to come himself 
•nd aid our donkey-boys to pitch his last ricks ol straw ovi i thi bedgi . when 
our camels had already begun to bave a least' We made several excursions 
around the country. The extraordinary fertility ol this part of the province 
surpassed anything we could imagine . several harvests are gathered every year. 
The clover, for instance, is cut three times, and attains a beighl unknown in our 
best land. This rich earth, fertilized by the mud oi the Nile, lias no need oi 
the rest so necessary for our cultivated lands. Scarcely has the wheat been 
harvested when the plowshare turns up the soil to prepare it for a new 
sowing. A camel or an ass generally draws the plow; the buffalo is often 
ved to work the wells and saquiehs. The soil, softened by constant mi 
gation, is so easily worked that the plow resembles a stool turned over, with 
one toot serving as a plowshare. It is not the large, heavy, shining iron 
which at home seems to try to turn up the howcls of the earth to the lighl ol 
day. Here it is sometimes a simple hit ol wood, which moves along IS il b] 
enchantment in the midst of furrows made in advance, which open ot them- 
selves before it. Everything in this marvelous country has the appearance 
of a dream. Where we use steam machinery, the fellah scratches the soil with 
a match ' I'he OX, which one meets oftener in Syria, is quite rare in this part 
of Egypt. The only ones seen here are generally small, with deformed feet, 
and very long horns hen 1 back like those of an antelope. An enormous hump 
over the withers resembles a natural deformity, and only serves better to hold 
the harness fixed on its head. Its color is drab or yellow, sometimes almost pale 
enough to he called wdtite. Can this ungainly animal claim its family papers 
descendant ol the famous Apis? He that as il maw he is very ungrace- 
ful. The hieroglyphic paintings and figures that reproduce the sacred hull 
hear only a feeble resemblance to this strange animal. In this country, which 
was almosl always occupied by pastoral people, we did not see many Hocks, ,w^\ 
tho which we did see did not maintain theii reputation; the little black sheep, 
with their long In ads res tmbled goats more than sheep. As tar as that goes, the 
Arab, who is not hard to please, finds the wool .it camels sufficient for his needs 
.mil foi the coarse texture ol his clothing. The finesl stuffs which we saw on 
the fellahs, and particularly on the women, come from Cairo, and are sometimes 
imported from Europe. Blue is the almost uniform color ol all the clothing in 
these countries. ddie usual short frock of the donkey-boys, the long robe of 
the fellahs, the square tunic of the camel-drivers, are invariably blue, from 
the deepi 1 i" the lightest shade, according to the use of the garmenl 01 
the uncleanliness of the owner. In the country, this sofl tone enhances the 



154 'HI IJVD WORKS <>/■ /.' U\ LEOA G&R&UI 

values oi the grays and reds of the soil. The lighl robes of the women (habbara), 
and their long veils, oi which we took many samples at Senouhres, arc of a 
much deeper blue than the other costumes. These stuffs, of a finer mixture 
of silk and wool, possess the flexibility, transparency, and brilliancy of whal a 
Parisian modiste calls grenadine. They lend themselves admirably to the 
tonus the) cover, and however peremptory the law of Mohammed in regard to 
modesty, he certainly did not foresee the nature of the gauzy stuffs which the 
women so skillfully use to ameliorate this severe decree. Only concealing tui- 
tions, these conventional veils leave almost nothing to the imagination, 
Often one would even wish there were more, mi greal a charm is there in the 
unknown, which surpasses the reality in beauty! The children have for their 
sole covering the skin furnished them by nature, and which seems to contain 
them with difficulty. The climate and the vegetable nourishment which forms 
the substance oi their food produce among them a state ol precocious obesity most 
painful to see. This exaggerated inflation deforms them entirely, sometimes to 
the age oi eleven years, when their proportions begin to gain a more symmet- 
rical form In spite ol the charm of 0UI sojourn at Mcdinct. in spite of 

the series id ready-made pictures which met us at each step, and seemed to lie 
in wail tor us at the corner of each street and ot each bazaar, our expedition to 
Sinai and Arabia Petraea had been arranged, so thai we were forced to begin 
to think oi leaving the province of Fayoum. A ravishing country, on account 
ol Us essentially gentle and primitive character, with its inhabitants of the 
Bible and savage vegetation ; a veritable terrestrial paradise, where the pa tot il 
people, from lather to sou. continue to put their whole strength into the culti- 
vation of their lields. We were going to leave this living page ot Genesis to 
enter again the brouhaha of the restless and unhealthy world which has already 
invaded Cairo, and. by means of steam, electricity, and asphalt, has succeeded 
in replacing the natural charms of the 'Thousand and One Nights' by the 
accessories of the Boulevard Malesherbes and the RueTronchel ' . . . . 

"To commence with steam, we send back our asses, camels, and baggage 
and go to take our tickets at the station oi Mcdinet-cl-Kayoum. The station? 
Well, there was none as yet, but there is to-day. with beautiful e,atcs punted 
green, and beautiful employees, brand new. \s tar as that goes, stations are 
quite useless. One takes the train where one pleases, along the wayside; it 
Stops Willi all the ease of a fiacre taken by the hour, and if there are some 
stations marked on the indicator, they are placed there solely from a decorative 
point ol view! ddie stations occur very often and no matter where accord- 
ing to the laws of a most unforeseen fatality. To light a pipe, to pick a blue- 
bell, to shoot a duck, are among the thousand pretexts for the train to make a 
bait . it tins oil; an point lasts too long, you can sit down to breakfast on the 
track and make coffee there, provided you do not set the cars on lire! About 
nine o'clock in the morning we boarded the train without any other adminis- 
trative formalitj than shutting the door after us. We stayed there two hours! 
Thanks t>> out sketchbooks, winch li.udh ever left us, the time was not lost, 
and we made numerous sketches ol our neighbors under pretext of taking 



//// L\/> WORKS Of //■ M li<<\ <,/.'■■ 155 

notes for the administration. The good Italian Father came to bid us farewell, 
and left us with tears in his voice as he thanked us for the pol ol Liebig with 
which we had enameled his existence. At the cud oi anothei hour, the train. 
composed oi a series oi indescribable old boxes, made a star! and we moved off, 
carrying awa} from tins lovely country, which we quitted with regret, hearts 
and portfolios crammed with charming souvenirs. 

'The line of the railroad runs almost directly between the sand and the 
cultivated lands ; thus, from a certain point of view, we could not complain of the 
slowness of our queer locomotive. At our lefl the whitish line of the desert ; at 
the right smiling vegetation and charming views. It was a veritable magic 
lantern, and we were jolting along in a pleasant dream when tin- alarm whistle 
signaled a station thai is to say, a breakdown! First entr'acte in the middl< 

ot a field no moie coal ' This was the prime reason. At the first village the 
children run to pick up whatever they can find, some trunks ol palm trees, 
brushwood, and debris oi every description, and wesi.ni again, our locomotive 
digesting with difficulty the varied and odoriferous fuel which has been crammed 
into its stomach. Another whistle, new halt ; no breakdown this time, but 
station, although there is no sign of a building nor an official cap. The 

village which occasions this second halt lies along the Nile: it is called lib 

Wastah, a pretty little town, regularly laid oul and almost clean. It is a point 
.a junction on the riverwith the line from Medinet, where the barges disi 
their loads or lake on the merchandise brought by the trains. Consequently one 
sees there a great number of camels which ply between the Nile and the rail- 
Ihis station was no joke ; we had two boms before us which we agreeabh 
spent in breakfasting on the grass under the palm trees, in company ol all the 
dogs of the village, who respectfully ranged themselves around us, begging for 
.1 1 bicken or duck bone. Escorted by these unbidden quests, we strolled through 
El-Wastah. The bai tulle grouped, lend a charming animation to this 

little port. On the invitation of the owner we visited a lovely pleasure boat, 
which was only waiting for roving amateurs to descend or ascend the river; but, 
faithful to our cardboard tram, we lett these enchanted shores to climb again 
into our box. We were oil; but too Minn, a whistle; breakdown! stop . 
no more fuel! and right out in the open country, as far from I'lV/.ch as we are 
from El- Wastah ! We finished by accommodating ourselves to this Way of the 
Cross; we got out with our guns. The engineet declared he had just enough 
combustiblf to go done with his machine to look for reinforcements. This 
proposition was unanimously adopted without anyone bein- consulted ; and he 
lett us there in the lurch. Several stout gentlemen in clean tarbouchs, who 
musl have been personagi "i importance, obtained the favoi oi accompanying 

tlie engineer, bul they fared badly, tor the machine itself had to stop farthi 

right in among the sand hills. It was doubtless one of these stout privileged 
functionaries who went to Gyzeh OH foot ami persuaded t he council ol adminis- 
tration to -,eud Inst for tin locomotive, and afterward to think of the ir.i 
who were dying of hungei in the open air. We had a six hours' wait, during 
which we struggled with famine, unable even to dance attendance at the buffi 1 



I 5" I II I 'V/' WORKS Of II M //i>\ i,/! 

Several of us went oil hunting and returned with one duck, eighl sparrows, and 
a rat! We were content. Our ingenious dragoman had gathered up some 
precious fragments ol fuel winch had fallen hum the Locomotive along the 
track, and succeeded in furnishing us with a second-hand supper with the 
remains of the chicken and the coffee oi the morning. 

•The nighl had come ; with closed doors we were snoring, careless of the 
future, without thinking thai another train coming from behind might crash 
into us, hut Mohammed watched over us. Toward ten o'clock in the evening, a 

locomotive, with piercing shrieks from its whistle, 1 led on to our coupes and 

imalh dragged us out of this hopeless solitude. We were fairly dazzled on oui 
awakening; for a station, lighted by gas, transported us suddenly into the heart 
ol the most trivial European civilization, and, half-asleep, we wen almosl read] 
to ask for the omnibus for the Palais Royale! But we were far enough from 
n foi it was ancient Gyzeh at which we had just sleepily alighted, and for an 
omnibus there was a hoat to take us across the Nile below the Isle ol Roudah. 
A steeple chase soon organized itsell between the passengers, to get the last 

places on hoard the lm\ boat which was getting up steam several hundred paces 

from the station. Donkeys were ready for us on the other side, and, preceded by 
the donkey-boys and their fanous, we committed ourselves and our beasts to the 
oi Heaven as far as the hotel. Alter so varied a series ol emotions, a 
restorative supper did not come amiss ; we slept while eating, and, had our bed- 
rooms not been au premier, we would have been found snoring on the table the 
next clay. Our dear invalid was better and we were eaiine; to he able to re- 
commence our wanderings 

"By daybreak we had found our way to the superb Avenue of Choubrah, a 
perfect vault oi verdure, more than three kilometers long. The sycamores and 
is which form a hedge on both sides ol the road, and whose knotty branches 
interlace overhead, are ol extraordinary dimensions. A delightful gallop ol an 
hour and a hall brought us to the door of a charming villa, the chief attraction 
of which was a real atelier, with easels, canvases, everything necessary to paint 
alter nature. An atelier on the hank of the Nile' a dream realized, ami all the 
palaces oi the pashas were not worth this enormous window with its laryje* 
green curtains! We received a most cordial welcome and could speedily have 
forgotten that we were in Egypt, had not the Nile and the Pyramids lain before 
our eyes. The disk of the moon had arrived at its stage of most accentuated 
leanness, and. in consequence, our cavalcade that evening met with various 
tumbles into pools and holes, which forciblj retarded our return to Cairo. We 
arrived looking like thieves, and sundry kicks were necessary before we suc- 
ceeded in having OUT Own doors opened and escaped being devoured hv thl 
oi watchman. 

"The dogs of Cairo (of which ('icromc has given us various specimens. 
notably in the picture entitled ./ Warm Day in Cairo) deserve honorable 
mention, not lor the elegance ol their forms hut on account of the important 
mle thev play m the citv and in every particular street. Black and drab, they 

resemble wolves and jackals more than do,e,s. They are the real guardians 



///•/ l.\/> WORKS Of /EAA L&ON <,/'/■ [59 

ol the clival an hour when every honest man is supposed to be asleep and 
only rascals abroad. The) evidently place on the latter list all Europeans 
who continue their habits of dining out, going to a ball and coming home 
late. In order to return alive from these various operations, it is prudent to 
go "ii ass-back, accompanied l>\ a stent bludgeon or a revolver. To keep to 
the middle ol the road is also wise, for ii you !>nt graze the shops confided 
to the care ol these molosses, you expose yourself to the most unequal struggle 
and undeserved lutes. The expression 'Jezebel devoured by dogs,' which I have 
always considered as a sort ol poetical exaggeration, is nothing of the kind; 
it is easily explicable when one sees these ferocious animals who devour each 
other when enough old women do not tumble from the windows! There exists 
a sort ol canine federation which assigns to each his street and his quarter; 
ii a dog finds himseli out ol his domain, all those in the strange street fall 
on him and tear him to shreds. It is a corporation with a regular syndicate 
and laws. For the maintenance ot this police, the butcher in each street has 
charge ol souls and stomachs; he owes all his debns to the do^s ot his quarter, 
ami the hour of distribution gives rise to most unexpected groupings, needy 
families always occupying the front row. 

"We wished to carefully examine all thai we had but obtained a glimpse ol 
during our first stay in Cairo. The bazaar being close to our hotel, we I 
there. \l the end ol the Monski. a wide covered way divides the quarter where 
all these bazaars seem to be grouped. At the left are the jewelers, on the right 
1 la si nils, carpels, shoes, and costumes of every description : farther on. the sad- 
dlers' bazaar, where one finds harness, saddles, and all the accessories ot travel. 
(Gerome's picture, Buying a Bridle, otherwise known as , // ///,■ Saddlery, repro- 
duces this bazaar and gives ns the portrait ol a superb while horse to boot. 1 But 
the so-called bazaar of arms is absurd, for tin Hfitel Drouot has bought up the 
greater part ol these Eastern bibelots de luxe. We saw at Cairo only horrible 
modem blades coming from Brussels or England, which betrayed by theii 
brilliancy their trumpery European origin. To say that there were none genu- 
ine or beautiful would be to exaggerate, but they were rare. The jewelers' 
bazaar offered the most unique effects. It is not on a level with the rest of the 
11. 1 1 ; oik- is forced 1,1 descend several steps and squeeze in with the crowd that 
always blocks up the narrow door. It is an immense caravansary rather than a 
Penned up like animals in a show, each goldsmith has his quarters, 
his mysterious coffers, his weighing apparatus, his pipe, and his spectacles. In 
this marvelous den we laid in an abundant slock of souvenirs in tin- shape ot 

lets, collars, etc. The premium accorded in the Orient to all Euro 
money, and French in particular, nivcs rise here to a irer} simple mode ot pay- 
UK 111. 'Idle jewelry is placed in one scale, your gold in the oilier, lor such is 
their mode oi establishing an equilibrium between their merchandise and your 
twenty-franc pieces ; for in the jewelry of nearly uniform fabrication the work- 
manship does not count. From the jewelers', we crossed to the stuffs and vest- 
ments; pelisses, waistcoats, long robes for men, everything was heaped together 
and hung up ill thi disorder. 



160 LIFE \ND WORKS 01 II I \ .']// 

"The abayes and long robes with fitted sleeves arc the two garments mosl 
generally worn in Egypt and Syria. The abayes arc the winter mantles which 
the Arab puts on as a dernier ressort against the cold. This garment, consist- 
ing <>! a large square piece oi cloth, is cul with biblical simplicity; it is the 
tunic oi the Hebrews, a sack with square openings for the head, arms, and legs. 
Luxury, which takes possession oi everything, has succeeded in making of this 
classic vestmenl a real objet d'art.b} the nature of the texture and the incom- 
parable embroideries with winch it is sometimes entirely covered ; the abaye 
oi the camel-driver has no other ornament than two greal brown stripes which 
run from one end to the other. In the countries farther away from Cairo, the 
abaye has othei shades, In the environs oi Petra, these large stripes arc bine. 
and the garmenl is sometimes lined with furs, bu1 in the desert the primitive 
color oi the sinii is general!) simplified bj the weai and tear and most uni- 
form dirtiness. The abayes in green silk, ornamented with embroideries in 
silver, produce a ravishing effect. There an samples fo taste, from 

black embroidered with gold, to the most delicate shades. One finds here also 
a complete assortment oi kouffies in ever) style. The waistcoats, vests, tunics, 
and robes hardh ever change their forms, but the stuff S with their silky 
reflections vary infinitel) and produce always new effects. Half-wpol, half- 
cotton, these stuffs give the effect oi being made oi silk; being profusely 

gummed and glazed, they lose much b\ being put in water. The slci 

these garments, widening like a funnel, seem at firsl sight as it the) would 
restrain the freedom <d the arm ; but this surplus stuff, falling over the hands 
preserves them from the painful effects oi the sun. These ample costumes, 
which seem to be made only to astonish strangers and embarrass those who 
wear them, are, on the contrary, admirably adapted to the requirements oi the 
most natural laws of hygiene in a country where one struggles continually 
against a torrid heat. The silk stuffs in which the Arabs litcialh swathe their 
heads, far from stilling them, produce a refreshing coolness, the more an Arab 
is covered with loose woolen garments, the less he suffers from the sun. 

"To go on to the Gobelins. Several oi us had a weakness tor these admi- 
rable ruj^s. which are made in Persia and sold in greal quantities in Cairo. The 
Com de lapis (reproduced in ''.dome's famous Carpet- Merchant), aside from 
the marvels sold there, is in itself very interesting, presenting one ol the most 

picturesque interiors to be found in Cairo. The installations oi the merchants. 
their cupboards and coll ns </< reserve, arc veritable chefs-d'oeuvre oi SCulpturi 
\ erandas in carved wood shield the shops from loo much light, and this twilight, 
skillfully managed, Only broughl out more admirably the striking colors ol these 
beautiful carpets. We bad the pritneurs of the recently arrived new cargo 
the chance- was too good to be lost. It was a real Org) ; the) must have taken us 
lor commission-merchants, and nothing arrested our purchases but the expensive 

question of transportation oi all these riches 

"Feeling the need ol repose, we sought quarters that would be well worth 
studying meanwhile, and where the dhuns and coffee would bear some pro- 
portion to the importance ol out ca\ as. We therefore decided to visit the 



LIFE \ND WORKS Oi a l\ LEON GEROME. [6l 

hi ambassador, to refresh ourselves at his expense and do him honor! 
These visits, which are made so familiarly a1 home, take on here in the Orienl 
,i majestic and official character almost comical. You go to visil somebody you 
do not know; in your charactei ol stranger, be gorges you with liqueurs and 
bonbons and deluges you with coffee, and ii is he thai is profuse in thanks for 
the honor you have shown hi in. On our way we promised ourselves i In- pleasure 
of reclining on luxurious divans, bul we had not calculated the progress ol 
European civilization. The ambassador united us to sit down on horrible 
mahogany chairs, persuaded, doubtless, that he was filling up the measure of our 
desires by this delicate at tent ion. These fitting adornments of a ready- furnished 
apartment contrasted singularly with the Oriental richness of this sumptuous 
abode; fountains ol porphyry, colonnades ol marble, paintings touched up with 
gold and inlaid with tortoise-shell, made of t his enchanted palace a queer 
assembl] ol the richest products oi the Orient and the commonest trivialil 
our European furnishings. In spite ol our disappointment in finding ourselves 
,is if we wereat home, we were none the less charmed bj the princelj 
welcome w d. After the customary compliments, the ambassador pre- 

sented to us his smb. very distinguished-looking young people, whose ward 
rolns were supplied by Dusautoy, and who had nothing ol the Persian about 
them save their pointed caps ol black cloth. The interpreter explained to us 
how complete their education was. and rather maliciously added, just at the end 
of our visit, that they spoke French admirably! Happily, we had not indulged 
m ioo many indiscreel reflections suggested bj some details ol this sti 
interior. We visited in order the chambers, the gardens, and the stables, 
veritable marvels of Asiatic luxury with which the Persians love to surround 
themselves, but which is almost always spoiled by some bibelot in bad taste or 
some absurd prosaic accessory. 'Idle bath room, all in Persian faience, and the 
painted wooden wainscoting and ceilings, excited oui particular and enthusiastic 
admiration. In going out, aftei having taken leave ol our hosts, we ran against 

a black colossus who was half-concealed by the obscurity ot the passage ; by the 
jingling of his chains we recognized that it was a eunuch decorated with jewels 
like a Spanish mulet, (GerOme's picture ol the (.rami White Eunuch, with its 
delicious glimpse ol the harem in the background, not vouchsafed to the visitors 
thai day, is a reminiscence of this encounter I Guardian of the special harem ol 
thi ambassador, this splendid figure was a fair type of these extraordinary beings, 
whom we had alread) remarked at Cairo. Clothed in gaudy stuiK this living 
baldachino was literallj covered with jewels, collars, bracelets, and rings, thai 
announced his presence from afar, lb- saluted us. not understanding thi 

-a with which his social position inspired us. A saber longer than himself 
dragged at the i nd oi a -dl. scar! and mad.- us think ol Blue-Beard ; therefore 
we did not lounge in thai corridor for any length of time! Women only have 
the privilege of entering thesi harems, which have been described by some 
imaginative writers in terms more or less improbable and false. 

"In the Orient, the harem is more of a luxury than a social institution, and 
is supported more through vanity than love ol debauch. The harem is the 



[6a /.//■/■ / \ /> WORKS Of II ■ l.\ I i.t>.\ GiRdMl 

barometer ol the fortune oi every importanl personage, and his income is esti- 
mated more according to the number of women which he counts in his gynecie, 
than of the horses in his stables. \ fail valuation can be made by counting the 
number oi eunuchs al the door. As to the life oi the harem, we have had for a 
long time verj incomplete glimpses given by visitors authorized to penetrate the 
sanctum. The sister ol the celebrated Egyptologisl Lane has made a very 
interesting resume oi all thai we could see, tell, or write on this subject. The 

seclusion "I the women oi the harem has been much i rated, for, although 

nun can never gain admittance there, the women have ever} facility for going to 
the bath or to \isit among themselves. How often did we meel them on their 
rulih led asses, moving freely through the streets, simply preceded by 

a sais or a slave. The women one does not see in the Orienl are evidently the 
mosi beautiful; those one sees are more strange-looking than prettj ; and those 
whom one regrets to have seen, show themselves the mosi freely ' The nai 
the women are nol very varied; thanks to this simplification, one can easily 
attain the favor oi seeing the physiognomies oi the feminine inhabitants of an 
entire quarter. ' Fatma ! Fatma !' you cry al hazard in the street, and fifteen 
to twenty Fatmas automatically open the ventilators <>i the moucharabiehs like 
the birds in a cuckoo-clock! In this collection, several certainly . merit the 
trouble oi this rude subterfuge. It was a Fatma whom we persuaded to come 
and pose for us. It was a new thing for her, and in our honor she pu1 on all 
her richesl ornaments. A tall, beautiful girl, her fine, expressive head was a 
thorough type oi the besl Egyptian woman; her sole faull was thai she drank 
araki like a camel-driver and smoked like a Swiss ! But one cannot have every- 
thing. The mosi absurd greediness and childishness form the particular 
characteristics oi these naive and almost savage natures, which are brought up 
like rare birds, or trained animals, to sing, dance, dunk, smoke, and sleep. 
I atma did nol fear to trample underfoot thai special law oi the Prophel that 
forbids photography and all reproduction of the human figure. She carried 
awa\ sufficient and varied bakchichs to immortalize our memory in her heart, 
and she fell heir to the whole stock oi thirty-sou scarfs that had nol been given 
awaj in Fayoum, and which would have no temptations for the austere monks 
oi Sinai. 

"One oi the chiei ceremonies oi the Mussulman religion happened to coin- 
cide with our stay in Cairo and formed one oi the most impressive souvenirs oi 
• hi i journey, the Departure of the Carpet (kisweh) for Mecca. This carpel is the 
annual offering ol the Viceroy to the mosque oi the holy city ol the Prophel ; 
,i royal presenl which gives to the departure ol the caravan a mosi 
imposing official and religious character. The day before, the whole city is a 
prey to the most unaccustomed excitement ; curious sightseers go to reserve 
their places, and pilgrims gather al the spot from which the caravan is to 
: d parture the next day. It is near the Porte de la Victoire that the cortege 
assembles. Richly harnessed, the dromedaries for the travelers, and even the 
simple baggage-camels, are the objects ol the admiration and attention ol the 
entire population; the fanatics crowd around the animals and seem to wish to 



/.//•/• AND WORKS 01 // l\ LEOA <,/ 163 

sanctify themselves by contact with them. The religious character of this fi te 
exacts the greatest reserve on the part of the Europeans who wish to observe 
11 we were mounted on asses, and in make some concession to the Prophet we 
had put on for the firsl time the ordinary tarbouch, that absurd red skull-cap 
imported into Europe by pashas in disgrace and b) photographs ad libitum. 
The place in front "I the citadel was the superb position we had chosen to 
re\ Lew t his procession. On our way we encountered a compai i crowd struggling 
mi in tin- same direction, and it was nol without much hustling that our asses 
could breast 1 li i -. deluge of humanity. The women, clad in their most beautiful 
blue robes, with their nails freshly painted and all their jewels displayed, - 
to be the most eager in the midst ot all tins tumult. Under such circumstani - 
the zaghrouta.s. sort ol hen-like clucking which they make with theii toi 
is the mo>t ordinar} mode ol expressing their religious enthusiasm. At each 

corner, animated groups escorted the parts oi the procession winch were 
going toward the general rendezvous; cawas, armed with courbaches, opened a 
way through the crowd for the little brotherhood they preceded, freely distribut- 
ing thumps to the children, dogs, and asses who did nol take themselves out ol 
the way quickly enough. Behind them marched the musicians with their 
instruments, the darabouka, the cymbals, and the flutes which form theii 
orchestra. Following them the uUmas, the dervishes, and the other func- 
tionaries ol the mosque of the quarter escorting the pilgrims who were going to 
forma pari of the grand caravan. Stopped ever} twent} paces by these smaller 

sions, and by the always increasing proportions ol the crowd, we were at 
last able to reach the Place Roumeileh. where the most extraordinarj spectacle 
we had ever witnessed awaited us. 

"The citadel was before us. its picturesque door richly draped with tl ■ 
at our right, the perspective ol Mokattam and the first mosques ol the caliphs ; 
behind, the Mosque ol Hassan, which covered the entire place with its gigantic 
shadow. In this magnificent framework this picture was to present itself to oui 
curious eyes. As m all complicated fetes, there was a delay, but in spite ol the 
blockades we arrived just in time. A hedge of soldiers stretched the whole 
length of the place, to free tin path of the procession and protect it from the 
fanatii demonstrations of the crowd. Finally, the cannon from the citadel 
sounded the departure and the entire city, perched on its terraces, replied by the 
most frightful cries ol joy; some raised their arms to heaven, others prostrated 
themselves in the dust ; the women struck up their chant, or rather their pierc- 
ing cries ol satisfaction, the camels and the asses mingled their guttural obser- 
vations with the concert, and the noise was overpowering. The procession ol 
court equipages began. Preceded by detachments of military, infantry and 
artillery, these vehicles, decked out with plumes and gilding, furnished onh a 
long and tedious prelude to the real procession, while the cannon, sounding at 
intervals, accentuated the official and almost dramatic side oi this strange 
ceremony. Suddenly the cries redoubled, heads turned with feverish haste in 
the direction ol the bazaar which connects the grand palace oi Karanicidan with 
that ol the citadel. The terraces, the minarets, and the ruined walls seemed to 



I'l I 



/.//■/• AND WORKS Ol II !\ ii,<\ ,,IKo\li 




sink under the weighl ol the multitudes piled up on them, and it was strange 
that these worm-eaten constructions did nol crumble under this agitated crowd. 
The women were number one in this universal row, their shrill and prolonged 
cries dominating the tumuli. Our ears ran-, our .asses pranced, and our 
dragoman signaled us to conceal our pipes, for the carpel was approaching. Two 
men, entirely nude and executing extraordinary leaps, preceded the co 

these two lunatics are what are called saint-. 
religious and venerable personages who embrace 
this career for want "i a trade more to theit 
taste. Thi piet) oi the faithful, who furnish 
them with everything, had economized to-day 
in regard to their wardrobe, which consisted 
"I a cord around the waist Ihilli.nil 
hers and numerous eawas. seconded by the 

soldiers ol the regular army, with difficulty 
kepi hack the crowd, which precipitated itself 

under the feel oi the white 

dromedary, the hearer of the 
precious gift of the pilgrims. 

Entirely hidden under its orna- 
ments oi brocade and gold, this 
magnificent animal advanced with 
difficult] under the weighl ol 

the enormous catafalque which 
swayed slowly on its back. In 
form of a lent, this monument 
was surmounted by a rich 
and surrounded bj lour oilier turrets; the entire canopy was sparkling with 
embroideries m -old and precious stones. The slult itself, ol green silk. 
was almost entirely hidden by this mass of riches. The head of the drome- 
dary was loaded down with ost rich-])l unies and pompons ol silk and mar- 
velous embroideries. The rest of its trappings were in harmony with the 
J tones of the catafalque, which, entirely <>t green and gold, produced 
from a distance a most dazzling effeel 

Then came the musicians mounted OH dromedaries ol ever) shade ol 
beaut) : these men. half nude, executed an internal music at a little dis- 
tance from the carpel ; then animals were painted with henna and covered 
wnh ornaments in gaud] colors. These unhappy creatures gave themselves 
up, with an indescribable zeal, to the deafening role confided to them. 

ed, doubtless, for the trade, some of them presented curious examples 

oi deformity; their cheeks, immoderatel] distended by the inflation necessi- 
tated h\ the blowing of their musettes, seemed to form a pari oi the instru- 
ment, such fabulous proportions did they attain. Immense drums, placed on 
each side of the hum]' of the camel, recalled our ancient kittle-drummers; 
al quantity ol shrill fifes competed wnh the trumpets and cymbals and 



LIFE AND WORKS 01- JEAN LEON GEROME. 1 65 

11 ni the air till the blood rushed to our ears. Bui it seems thai the excellence 
ol these maestri is measured by the row thej mak< 

" The camel carrying the carpel made a long pause on the square. Without 
decreasing in the slightest degree the inflation of their cheeks, the musicians, 
more deafening than ever, ranged themselves on each side. This hall per- 
mitted us to note con si ii ntiously the details of this strange and magnificenl U te. 
The rest of the procession then advanced to the center oi the square, several 
paces from us. A monstrous santon, entirely nude, opened the march. (In his 
Sanion before the /><><>/• <</ </ Mosque, G6r6me has skillfully represented one of 
these extraordinary creatures.) The dromedar) on which he balanced himself 
was painted with henna and entirel} covered l>\ brilliant cloths and trappings. 
The crowd, drunk with fanaticism, broke through the line of soldiers which 
guarded the passage of the caravan; men. women, and children rushed to kiss 
t, the knees, the hands of this horrible monster, who rolled in tat on his 
gilded saddle. The height to which he was hoisted prevented the greater part of 
1 Ik faithful from reaching more than his sacred feet. As tar as that ^oes. the 
santon. but little relishing the veneration of the crowd, agitated himself like a 
dog tormented b\ flies, Exasperated, doubtless, by the touches lavished on him 
by the crowd, he distributed from time to nine the most formidable kicks to 
those whose fervor tickled too much. Balancing himself, he seemed to keep 
time to the music, as if the dromedary was still on the march. Was it a desire 
lo gel awav or impatience to return to Mecca:' It was difficult to read in this 
swollen and oily visage, almost buried under the tangled locks which fell ovei 
it, and which had not been combed foi an age. The audacity with which the 
women in particular scaled the hedge of cawas ami sapties in order to reach this 

hideous baboon, was remarkable. The most marvelous and beneliceiit proper- 
ties are ascribed to mere contact with this lump of melting grease. They 
touched him with everything they owned that was precious to them, then 
clothing, their jewels, their children, to restore their health or preserve them 
II misfortune in the future. Those who were too small or too feeble lo 
reach the great toes of this hippopotamus, hung on to the dromedary and satiated 
him with their transports of ferocious piety. The unhappy beast undei 
nothing of this new kind of currying bestowed "ii him by these savae.es. who 
seemed lo wish lo devour him alive, 

"II is at once curious ami sad to see wh.it a point human folly will reach 
when consecrated and rendered louver incurable l>\ .111 idiotic and barbarous 
religion. Alter having observed all the repulsive details of this religious ore;y. 
the rest of the caravan tiled before us. richly equipped, the pilgrims having 
vied vvilli each other in luxurious display and new inventions; some of them, 
sheltered in a sort ol cave covered with awnings, displayed their Oriental art 
in decorating these little traveling habitations. The richest stuffs and emblem- 
atic lla^rs in brilliant colors tastefully adorned these motley cots. Others, 

Simply covered by the tent canvas, were remarkable, however, on account ol 
the accessories necessitated by the long journey, which dangled from every 
side; gargoulettes, narghilehs, lances, and armes de luxe, shields, bags of provi- 



I ll I AND WORKS or n 

sians, all were suspended like trophies on the flanks of the animal, which seemed 
to be impressed with a sense oi its importance on account ol ill if carried 
"ii its back. After a march ol two hours came the poor pilgrims, who. 
trusting in the protection ol the Prophet, were going to make this long and 
painful journej on foot, The} were no! very young, and in the ranks was 
more than one verj old man who seemed more likely to die on tin 
"i" al leasl al his journey's end, than to return. Among these unhapp; 
tures we noticed a greal numbei wearing the green turban, a distinctive sign 
"i the faithful who had alread) made thi pilgrimage to the kaaba ol the 
Prophet. Several more santons figured in this long procession, all horribly 
ugly; this singular profession ol traveling santon is transmitted from father 
to son. One c.i them was the objecl ol special ovations, and one ol oui 
donkey-drivers, \cr\ well posted in regard to the fete, being questioned, 
explained to us thai this unfortunate had already made the journey to Mecca 
seven times and in the same costume! By the odor we might have divined 
the seven times concentrated sanctity of this lump ol lard! But we dogs 
dt Christians were nol connoisseurs' Our donkey-boj begged permission to go 
and venerate this monstrosit} , more supple than a serpent, he slipped through 
the crowd and between the legs ol the soldiers, and, hanging on like a mussel 
i" the call "i this boh personage, he gave himsell an indigestion of humid 
piety. Km everything passes, even ;i caravan; the feti was al an end, and 
turned thoroughly astonished by these strange scenes, and still wonder- 
ing al the marvels ol decoration and mise-en-scene, but profoundly commiser- 
ating the actors; the chiel characters had played too well their rdles in this 
apotheosis of brutishness! .... 

"But we must be thinking of Sinai, ol Moses, ol the manna ol the Hebrews, 
and go tn expiate all our mundane pleasures in the privations, the sand, the 
fasting, the fleas, and the famine thai awail us in the desert. 'Be serious! 
says our little band to itself, feeling all the gravity of this second expedition; 
real dromedaries and .1 real desert, withoul the slightest vestige ol .1 'Restau- 
rant Peters,' this was the prospect which lay before us and winch some ol 
us considered with no little apprehension. The railroad had brought us across 
inds ti> the dull and dirty little city "I Suez. ( )ur tents and superb drome- 
daries were to arrive only the next day; for the time being we had no other 
resource bul the H6tel Anglais, already flooded with travelers bound for Indo- 
China and Japan. Our unhappy fate made our arrival coincide with a near 
departure and the hotel was full. ' Complet,' ironically cried from an upper 
stun a gargon redder than the sea baptized bj this name. We were deter- 
imii id, however, not to sleep out of doors nor in the city ; we entered into 
negotiations and our dragoman obtained the favor ol having beds made up 
on the divans in the salon. Hut when we came in to claim our half-beds, 
a dozen Englishmen were snoring there in chorus. Their ungracious n 
to disturb themselves lor our benefit engendered all manner of designs in the 
heads of our band, which exerted itself all nighl Ion-' in the most outlainli h 
inventions. Idle boots, ranged in battle arra] mi the table of the salon, pro- 



/.//•/■ WD II ORtCS Of ) 167 

jected fantastic shadows into the corners, and some of us could nol resist the 
temptation of sketching them; as ii hv enchantment, umbrellas were spread, 
color-boxes opened, and, in the scantiesl oi apparel, the merits "I painting by 
gaslight were debated! Having some visits to make the next day, we had 
stipulated for some brushing and blacking. Hut as we possessed in th< 
van a charming melange oi yellow boots, leggings, and black boots, which did 

ii"! call for the same kind oi treatment, we had arranged that all the I ts 

which needed to be blacked should be placed at daybreak outside the dooi ot 
the salon. A diabolical idea occurred to on< oi us and was put in execution. 
Like the lance oi Saul, a single velloiu boot was abstracted from each of the 
selfish sleepers and traitorously mixed in with ours; bakchich was forthcom- 
ing, and the blacking was not spared' When thej returned, shining and 
polished, each was placed silently ai its posi and we stole awav. picturing lo 
ourselves the scene that would follow the awakening! .... 

I'lu desert which separates Cairo from Sue/ has a very peculiar aspect, 
owing to tlte incredible mobility of the sand. This white, impalpable dust 
undergoes the strangest transformations, following the slightest caprices of the 
wind. Elevating itself sometimes into mountains of great height, sometimes into 

a seril tes, tile same sand presents the next day the appearance ol .111 

immense level plain. The crossing is verj painful lor travelers and even for 
the dromedaries, who. plunging in to their knees, can only move at a very slow 
To-da\ the railroad simplifies this lust stage of the journey out oi Egypt, 
hut if commerce and busy travelers gain time, the real amateurs of the Orient 
lose one of the most interesting points of the desert. The sands, of a brilliant 
whiteness, partake in an extraordinary degree oi the various colorings ol the sky 
at different hours oi the day. In the morning they are rosy, with violet shadows ; 
in the afternoon the direct sunlight :^iv es them hack their whiteness, softened hv 
gray and golden tones ol the most brilliant effect. In the evening, during the 

sh.il period of the twilight, they reflect like metallic plaques the incandescent 

tones ol the setting sun; they are not then mountains of snow, hut of lire; 

perpetually agitated, the sand is always subject to a change of place v 'isible to the 

md occurring with frightful rapidity. On the crest of these moun- 

ihe slightest breath oi wind produces an effect like the melting oi snow ; 

the sand sinks awav, always with imperceptible clouds on its surface, whose 

substance is treacherous and impalpable. How many caravans have been and 
will he its victims' Hut to return to Suez, 

"To stroll through the bazaar and the city, and complete our laying-in ot 
supplies for the journey, occupied the day till the arrival "I our caravan and our 
1. ni-,. Our encampment, with its military guard, was established t<> the north- 

a ih. city, where we were protected from its miasma, and. above all. from 
its inhabitants. Sue/, at this time was ol a repulsive uncleanliness. and no 

i, ,J monument makes up for this carelessness, The simple house occupied 
by General Bonaparte offers the sole pilgrimage to make. The tide was high 

and the holy pall laieli huv 111- forgotten to leave us his rod. it was m a charming 

little pleasure boat belonging to the Compagnie du Canal that we crossed the 



[68 LIFE i\l< WORKS Of II l\ I fox GEl 

Red Sea, with dry feet, a1 the very ^-i >■ >i where Pharaoh's artillery had been 
entirely submerged! Our caravan had made the grand tour in the morning. 
We passed through the sheds oi .1 section oi the work on the Isthmus, where the 
work men, a majority ol them Frenchmen, gave us the mosl cordial welcome; 
they offered us a ravishing little Syrian dog, and being assured that ii would 
follow us in the desert, we pul it in a leash and confided it to one of th 
vants IK iv it was that we made al last the acquaintance of our superb mounts. 
The Viceroy had graciously offered them to Ger6me for our journey; we could 
ippreciate the value oi these incomparably trained dromedaries, to whom 
we owed the rapidity of our journeying and our consequenl ability to spend a 
longer time al each encampment. In pi these magnificent animals and 

their guardians, it was not without a slight feeling of fear that the novices 
measured the height oi their new situation The largest of the animals 
measured ■, meters 25 centimeters to the saddle-bow, and was assigned to Lenoir. 

he hem- tin youngest ol the party, The camels had all been made to kneel 

down: the moment we wi I on the saddle, the animal instantly rose up 

with an excess oi politeness we would gladlj have dispensed with, tor In 
m this operation produced the most frightful swaying imaginable on account of 
the inequality oi length which exists between the hind and tore legs of this 
beast. Hut the uneasiness experienced, when riding a camel, lias been greatly 
exaggerated, and the resistance which one makes i" the natural movement oi 
the saddle is the sole cause oi the disagreeable effects sometimes occurring on 
these shi|>s ol the desert. It is nol a rolling, properly so-called, hut a very 
regular and verj supportable pitching. Habit soon made us regard this new 
mode of locomotion as the most natural m the world, and we ended by displays 
of the /null, icoh which excited the admiration oi our escort. 

"Our lust halting-place was not far away, and we soon reached Ain-Mouca. 
the springs oi Moses, We entered the desert by dunes oi extremely line white 
sand, which greatly diminished the fatigue consequent on our first siance on a 
movable hump; we left behind us Sue/., which soon disappeared behind the 
steep Hanks oi the Djebel-Attaka ; this mountain in red tones dominates the 
route and melts away m the distance on the southern side oi the sea that reflects 
us warm tints. The absolute absence of decent drinking-water at Suez gives a 
importance to five springs which we found at tin- camping-ground. The 
nature ol the soil and the presence oi this water have favored vegetation there ; 
graceful palms and clusters oi trees sheltered the springs; two natives had made 
little gardens there and constituted the entire population oi this refreshing little 
quarter. It was there we passed our first night in the desert, the very thought 
id which was lull of charm." 

Apropos of tin- first encampment, we find in the dedication of "Le 
Fellah," a charming volume by Edmond About, the following just tribute to that 
fidelity to nature which is one oi ihe mo>t striking qualities in Gerfime's work: 

■■ My Dear Friend '; Do you remember our last meeting in Egypt? It was 

under your tent at the extreme end of the desert ol Suez, in sighl of the caravan 



THE END OF THE SEANCE 



/.//■/ \ND !V( >A'/es OF Ji ,•< Ml 








which was carrying the carpel to Mecca. You were starting for Sinai : I was 

preparing to return to Alexandria with a portfolio crammed with notes, as was 

yours with sketches. I knew- Egypt well enough to describe ii from top to 

bottom, as I have done the Greece oi King Otho and the Rome oi Pius IX. 

Bui the hospitality "I Ismail Pasha had swathed me in bands which paralyzed 

mj movements nol a little. I had no longer a right to publish ex pro/esso 

a contemporaneous Egypt. Your example, my dear G6r6me, lias at once 

fascinated and reassured me. No law forbids an author lo work en peintre ; 

that is In say, to assemble in a work 

ol imagination a multitude id details 

taken from nature and scrupulously 

true, though selected. Your master- 

pieo s, greal and small, do not affect 

to tell e\ erything ; hut they do not 

present a t \ pe, a t ree, t be fold oi a 

garment, which you have nol seen. I 

have followed the same method, in 

the measure oi my ability, which, 

unhappily, is far from equaling yours. 

and it is only in virtue id' this fact that 

' l.e Fellah' is worthy to he dedicated 

lo you." 

To return to the journal : 

" Tethered l>\ a a ird, like horses 
in the country, our dromedaries and 
baggage-camels formed one oi the most 
interesting parts of our encampment. 
was very instructive for us. who were to live for two months on their hacks. 
And here let US correct an error that is sometimes made, in regarding the 
camel and tlu- dromedary as animals of a different race; they are identically 
the same, with the sole distinction that one is a beast of burden, and the 
other is exclusively trained lor riding. The dromedary is trained like the 
English horse, and the camel is only used tor transportation of heavy weights. 
There is no more differenci "I race between them than between the blooded 
and a cab-hack. Our camp, all during the journey, was composed ol 
threi large tents and two small ones. One ot the former served as a general 
dormitory lor our little band, the second was our dining-room, and the third 
barely contained our kitchen apparatus. 'I'hc two little tents formed I he 
apartments reserved lor the serious men. who were nol in the habit id passing 
their nights singing and dancing in a ring around the table: over the one 
assigned to G6r6me Boated an Admiral's flag, tor were we not navigating 
the desert? The tenants of these smaller tents generally took good care to 
avoid a too great proximity to the undisciplined and noisy fold, but when 
the seances de desert became too monotonous, momentary fusions and recon- 



The distribution of their daily food 



17° III I IM> WORKS (>/■ // i.\ LiOA G&ROMl 

ciliations occurred; the serious men solicited the favor of penetrating into the 
den and were made to pay dearly for the privilege. To a spectator placed on 
the top "i a mountain, our caravan on the march must have presented a very 
table ensemble, for our effective force consisted of twenty-seven camels 
and dromedaries. Our ten choice mounts belonged to the stables of the Viceroy ; 
tour won- especially detailed to carry the water, three earned the tents and the 
camping apparatus, seven others were loaded with chopped straw and beans for 
the food oi theit brethren, for it is a mistake to extend the moderation ot .1 
camel to his food ; he can remain fot a week without drinking, but he musl have 
a daily meal, however slender, his conformation permitting him to carry only a 
supph oi wati 

" i )ne of these interesting animals must have been astonished, and with good 
al the solicitude of which he was the subject, and the ass carrying relies 
had less pretext fot being excited; this camel earned more than Caesar and his 
fortune, for he had on his back our only photographic apparatus, plus the two 
chests of bottles and glasses which make its greatest charm; we lavished the 
greatesl care on him in all the descents and difficult passages; hi> load, much 
smaller than that ot the others, must have misled his judgment as to the nature of 
our hind attentions. How many statesmen fall into the same error in attributing 
to themselves the merit of the lamp-glasses they are carrying! ' Don't smash the 
globe,' is the basis of the enthusiasm ol most of their electors ! In these desert 
countries the affections become displaced and concentrate themselves with 
intensity on objects to which one would not before have dreamed oi attaching 
any great importance. A second camel held a place in our hearts almost as 
■ I u as the one carrying the camera ; it was he on whose hump our pot-au-feu 
made itsell eaeh day in a marvelous Swedish pot, by the side ol which Aladdin's 
lamp was insignificant ' A chest of wood, thoroughly incased in wool and her- 
metii all) sealed, contains a simple pot, which it holds like a jewel in its case. In 
this pot you place all the ingredients ol the pot-au-feu, together with \X& quantum 
ot boiling water (easily obtainable an hour before departure); the box being 
closed with care, ebullition is maintained indefinitely until the water is entireh 
evaporated, if the matter is prolonged beyond the time necessary foi a reasonable 
cooking. In a carriage or on the hack of a horse, an ass, or a camel, the pot- 
au-feu thus prepares itsell. and when, having started in the morning, you 
arrive worn out with hunger and fatigue, an exquisite and burning hot soup 
is read) foi you. This simple physical phenomenon was attributed by the 
Arabs to sorcery on our part, and the marvelous pot caused them as much 
terror as admiration. Every time our camel-drivers passed before the camel 
which carried i he soup, they made a grand detour, and crossed themselves 
Mi i their fashion. Our cook alone, greal amateur ol his art. had mastered his 
religious scruples, and he confessed to us that he should renounce the paradise 
Of Mohammed it he did not find there a Swedish mar mite ! 

"Our dragoman, ot Syrian origin, was very intelligent, endowed like all 
Arabs with an infinite power ol brag; the labors ot Hercules were only a joke 
in comparison to the feats he had performed, the relation of which was accom- 



///■/■ l\/> WORKS 0/ Jl g£r6mi 171 

panied by vigorous gestures and demonstrations. Our two other servants were 
Egyptians, much more reserved and respectful than the dragoman; they were 
also \ii\ gentle and very intelligent, and were preparing themselves, they 
avowed to us, to be in their turn conductors-in-chiel of a caravan. One oi 
them, bom in Upper Eg} pt, was named Ibrahim ; his tine, beardless face, graceful 
gestures, and long blue robe gave him the appearam e ol a timid young girl ; we 
called him Miss Ibrahim. He and his associate Michel were of an exemplary 
tidiness, a rare qualit} among thi Vrabs, and which offered a strong con- 
trast to the carelessness oi the dragoman and the remainder oi his acolyte 
Another type among our servitors did nol lack in interest ; it was the kitchen 
b iy, a little African negro, whose name we did not knovt and who was so black 
that we naturally called him Snowball' Always laughing, his white teeth 
produced the effeel ol a gaslight illumination at the mouth oi a cave. I lis eter- 
nally gay nature contrasted with the dramatic side of his functions; he was 
acrificial High Priesl ; it was he who slaughtered the fowls ami the 

sheep, hut it was he also who eared lor and fed them. Therefore the fowls 

had conceived a greal affection for him and followed him everywhere. < >n the 

march, if Snowball passed mar the camels carrying the cages ol poultry, there 
1 tumult of joyful duckings to which he replied by opening still wider 
his mouth, which he had never been able to shut since he was born. Idle horn 
ot slaughter was the same as that oi the feeding, and the hens hustled each 
other in their haste to meet him. The kilchen-knile in one hand and the sack 
ot wheat in the other, nothing was more Striking than this high executioner, 
distributing lite and death at his own capricious pleasure to those who loved 
him most. There was a picture to make; Sophocles would have written a 
tragedy. '/'<///>. ta'ib k&tir,' were the only words we ever heard escape from 
this great laughing mouth, adorned with two thick lips that had never been 
able to meet. Our cook. Achmet, was tall and thin, mute as the Sphinx, and 
like him had lost Ins nose I The charming side ol his character was displayed 
in his excellenl cooking, which never harms anything, even en voyage. 

"The first part of the desert presented a desolate aridity; not the slightest 

ation brightened the drab and graj tones ol the sand over which we made 
our way toward the mountains. In its general configuration, the Sinaitic 
peninsula forms the most singular collection of mountain-chains almost parallel 
to each other, and which merge together at the e\treinil\ of the peninsula. 
Between these gigantic walls, which nature has so singularly ranged, are the 
natural beds oi torrents resulting from rains and melting snows, ddiese narrow 
valleys, which are absolute corridors, the Arabs call wadis. The word valley 
does not correctly give the meaning oi the Arab word, so narrow is the passage 
one is obliged to follow sometimes for several kilometers. The lighl only struck 
the horizontal planes of the jagged Banks of the mountains, and these ravines 
Wi n like caves which are only lighted by a prolonged air-hole. The sonority <>1 
these wadis is extraordinary, redoubled as it is by the absolute silence ol nature, 

and the Btrangi ~i e< hoes permitted us to mak with little effort as much not 

a whole regiment <>n the march. During two days over sand and pebbles, we 



'7-' LIFE AND WORKS <>/ /A./.V LEON GEROMh 

perceived continuall) these magnificent chains, to the heart oi which we were 
going to penetrate ; they seemed to fly before us as in a mirage, and it was with 
real joy that, by a fracture which seemed to split the mountain in two, we 
inaugurated this astonishing series oi passages. The Wadi-Reiyaneh was the 
first which opened to receive us; it was noon; the shelter-tent, which never left 
us. was pitched and we proceeded to breakfast, experiencing the satisfaction ot 
being losl to the world. The road appeared to us to be sufficiently easy to find to 
loose our prett} little dog, who followed usver) well. But alas' she was not to 
be with us long. The wadi, till now very much closed in, suddenly changed its 
character; the manner in which the two sides "I the mountain shot up, cut at 
righl angles like two walls, ami the regular buttresses which held them up, com- 
pleted l lie illusion that possessed us. that these were the COnstrW lions of men and 
not treaks ot nature. At the end ot this immense gallery we again struck the 
sand, winch was dotted here and there by tufts oi foliage almost ot a pearl-gray 
lone, like hits ot wool stirred by the wind. Our dromedaries did not neglect to 
taste, as they went along, this unexpected luncheon, and we weri soon vying 
with each other as to who should find a bunch for his heast and assure him the 
exclusive consumption of it. A little farther on, these tufts took on larger 
proportions, and from their branches and roots were borrowed whips, which we 
l.uked. to stimulate the good will ol our coursers. 

"On leaving this narrow gorge we reached the shore ot the Red Sea. and 
followed it lor some time. Al this point the mountains begin to take on the 
red. green, and black tones which puzzle the besl trained eye that may wish to 
determine the cause ot this coloring. Under the action ot tire only could the 
earth and rocks undergo such strange upheavals and decomposition ; orange and 
lemon-yellow veins slash from top to bottom the reddish sides of these natural 
walls, and from alar imitate the caprices ot the most extraordinary marbles. 
< )ur admiration for this si range spectacle was diverted by the sight ot the sea and 
the prospect for a long-hoped-foi bath. Vnd indeed we had scarcely quitted the 
\\ adi-Sadr. when our dromedaries with one accord slatted oft at their most rapid 
pace and rushed into the water up to their breasts. The \lv<\ Sea. so terrible in 
history, was at this spot, as indeed in its whole length, as limpid as rock-crystal. 
Mohammed ought to have heeii satisfied with our ablutions, for We remained m 
the water till nightfall, and we would have r( joiced to he able to pitch our tents 
there. Adorable little shells, of every imaginable coloi and form, strewn over 
the sand, were the only drawback to out enjoyment. The sensitive teet ot our 
dromedaries suffered equally from this excess of riches. Amphitrite had left at 
this spot a lavish supply of those enormous red shells which traditionally figure 
on the mantelpieces of our concierges, and we perpetrated the poor joke ot 
bringing to our absent friends a cargo oi the largest, heaviest, and ugliest we 
could find ' We had just scrambled into bed after our lengthy hath when in a 
moment the weather changed. The most piercing cold succeeded the burning 
winds that had blown fiercely all day ; a terrible tempest, with thunder and 
lightning, hurst upon us. Suddenly a formidable blast of wind blew away the 
entire tent which composed the large dormitory, together with all its accessories ' 



LIFE IND WORKS <>/■ // m i/i>\ G&RdMl 175 

Ii was not a slight affair to catch it. The stafi in the middle was broken, the 
slakes were simultaneously pulled oul from the earth, and the enormous 
parachute, rising from the earth, sailed away in the direction of the wadi, and 
we presented the edifying spectacle ol tenants running alter their house' The 
hurricane lasted all nighl and considerably interfered with our departure the 

iu \1 da) several accessories of our camp had heen lost in the tumult of the 

previous evening, and the drenched soil bad become very slipperj and dangerous 

foi our animals. A day ol hall was voted and decreed then and there, we 
profited by this delaj to take another hath and make various studies "I these 

Strange mountains, whose lurid tones seemed to he more vivid alter the lain 

(Oicrome's sketch-hook wonderfully reproduces all these marvels.) 

"Our tents, spread out on the shore, were drying in the sun, when our Arabs 
signaled on the horizon the approach of two human beings; some of our men 
went to meet them and brought them to the camp. Two skeletons, almost 
naked, were before us, and with staring eyes made signs that they were dying 
ot hunger. These unhappy beings were two fishermen whose boat had 1" en 
wrecked by a storm some time before. For two days they had lived on raw 
fish, hut lor the lasl lour they had had nothing to ea1 ; their appearance was 
frightful. We came like a providence to them. Our Colonel ami the Doctot 
vied with each other in lavishing care on them, and gave them nourishment. 
which gradually restored them; then, as we were on the point of departure 
and these two unfortunates were to return to Suez, we gave to each three 

loaves of bread, a bottle ol wine and two ot brandy, which had to last them 
for quite a lone, journey, hut which was all we could spare from our provi- 
sions. No words could describe the thankfulness ol those men, whom we thus 
saved from a certain death, and none ot us will ever forget the tears ot grati- 
tude they shed on leaving us. Our way lay in an opposite direction; the sea 
wa-, superb and the line sand, spangled with brilliant shells, was the natural 
road we followed. The mountains on our letl rose up in gigantic stories piled 
one upon the other. The natural decomposition of the stone produced fairy- 
like carvings, ami the action of the rains had formed staircases ol most aston- 
ishing regularity. We seemed to l>e ascending the steps ol Indian temples, 
multiplying themselves before us as if by enchantment. It was in successively 
mounting and descending this labyrinth of steps that we had the misfortune 
to lose our dog Nina. A dromedary hail hit her with his foot ; this unexpected 
kick hail frightened her so that she ran away, and the efforts ol all OUI camel- 
ili iv ers were in vain to recall her. In those arid solitudes, SO far from Suez, the 
poor beast must have dud oi hunger or become the prey ol some troop ol jackals. 
I here was general mourning in the caravan, ami this accident quite spoiled lor 
us the magnificent spectacle which unceasingly unrolled before our eves. As we 

advanced, the mountains became more lofty ami of more vivid coloring than 
those vv e had seen the day previous. We were obliged to leave the coast and 
penetrate one of those frightful gorges whose existence could only he dis- 
covered by the trained eve ol an Arab, so nearly do the sides of the mountains 
touch. 



/.//•/ AND WORKS Ol Jl i.\ LEOA GER&ME. 

"The Wadi-el-Amarab offered us the firsl opportunity of tasting those 
springs ol bitter water which gush oul so abundantly in these mountainous 
countries. The bitter fountain ol Marafa oi the Hebrews is supposed to refer 
to these springs. Lepsius was not of this opinion, hut the water was none the 
less undrinkable ! Deceived bj its crystal clearness, our animals plunged their 
heads into it and withdrew them with horrible grimaces. Similar to that 
ol the Dead Sea, il tasted like an infusion of sulphur matches. We only wet 
our bands and laces, and our skin was covered with blisters and impregnated 
with salts, the removal oi which gave us no little trouble. It was the 25th 
ol February; Mardi-Gras was being celebrated with masked halls at Paris, 
which we were unable to duplicate. Mni the most picturesque coiffures were 
donned by the whole colony and a little bac Was set up in our tent, which was 
adorned with our best vintages. Jules was invited to the fete, and our Sinaitic 
watch excelled in gayet} the most successful efforts of our distant country. 
Firstly, no one had anything to pay; secondly, in the middle of the night the 
little band indulged in a torchlight procession which filled our domestics with 
anxiety as to our mental condition. Patriotic songs alternated with 
d'atelier' in the best possible taste, and must have astonished the echoes ol 
these biblical wadis, which probably had heard nothing <>! the kind lor a long 
time' The fanOUS were at last extinguished and the desert resumed its 
wonted silence. The Wadi-Sclnlla was the point on our journey where the 
mountains surpassed in strange coloring all that one could imagine in violent 
and outlandish tints ; entirely vermilion, red or ocher yellow, they seemed 
i" bi painted ; on then jagged sides various geological strata, green, blue, anil 
violet, formed arabesques impossible to describe. Wishing tohavea clear con- 
science, some of us made the ascension of the reddest peak to see it it was really 
■ lor. or il these extravagant tints were not the result oi some optical illu- 
sion. Hut it was not poudre de riz ! this rouge was perfectly natural and. 
from top to bottom, each fragment of these sharp rocks looked like a burning 
coal. We brought back some specimens which aroused the admiration ol the 
ists, and we remained several days in this fantastic spot making differ- 
ent studies of these freaks ol nature, where not a single blade oi :^rass varied 
the extraordinary coloration. 

" Wadi-Mokatteb. la ValUe Ecrite, was the marvelous valley which we were 
now to cross. At a height ot two hundred meters, the sides of the mountain, 
polished like tables of marble expressly prepared, are covered with Sinaitic 
inscriptions . lor more than three kilometers these remarkable si.^ns literallx 
carpel the slopes that streUb up perpendicular^ on each side, like two enormous 
pages of hieroglyphics, the origin of which has been the subject ot many dis- 
putes. The red-brick lone of the mountains that bear these inscriptions gives 
a still more striking charactei to this strange page ol bistorj written on the face 
Oi Nature. This valley ends in a vast circular plain surrounded by mountains 
on ever} side. The encampment was enlivened by a visit from the brother ot 
our sheikh. He was not alone, for when he entered our tent-salon, he had on 
his arm an enormous sheep which he cam. to offer us. provided ot course that 



LIFE AND II OSKS <>/■ / 17; 

we would pay him roundly for it ' This courtesy on his part cosl us twenty -five 
frani s, a fabulous pi ice for tins country. Bui we could not refuse, lesl we should 
\i-\ this gentleman and a crowd ol others who could have made matters \.r\ 
1 reeable for us; after all he was very amiable, and invited us to dine with 
him, to visit Ins little familj . Ins little tents, and his little Hocks. With graceful 
gestures and feminine intonations, he explained how charming it all was; we 
allowed ourselves to be tempted, and some of us actually put on gloves to go to 
this dinner 'in the city!' The singular repast which awaited us was worth the 
trouble; pilau, couscoussou, mincemeal with bread balls, curdled milk, nothing 
thai could produce seasickness was lacking! A sheep had been prepared d 
I'arabe. I 'hi entire animal, placed on the embers like a simple chestnut, was 
taken oil thoroughly burned on the outside and perfectly raw inside. To com- 
plicate the roast, the interior had 111 the first place been slutted with fruits and 
odoriferous herbs, which gave it a very pronounced taste oi the apothecary shop. 
We had tlu di licac] to find everything excellent, risking an illness oi several 
days; Heaven came to our aid. for we were surrounded by tin- dogs of the 
tribe, who assisted us to do honor to the repast. After this indigestion par 
politesse, we left this plateau and plunged again into narrow gorges ; the soil and 
the sides of the mountain were of a white and powdery sandstone, which crossed 
the red tones that still prevailed. A tine sand covered the road and made the 
walking difficult for our dromedaries, Here the irregularities of the ground did 
not take the form of crevasses and landslides, as they had hitherto. Swollen 
like lava in fusion, the slabs oi polished granite over which we were moving occa- 
sioned our pooi annuals more than one fall, inexperienced as they were in this 
painful kind of ascension. We had all dismounted and. holding them by the 
bridles, we often clung to them under pretext of assisting them. 

"After this narrow defile we found ourselves suddenly at the entrance ol a 
magnificent valley, which reached to the steep sides of the highest mountain we 
had \et seen. The sharp stones w Inch formed the macadam of the road spoiled 
the charm for us, and the bleeding of our poor dromedaries testified that they 
were id our opinion in regard to the ne^li^ence of the road-menders. We had. 
however, before us one of the most beautiful points of view in the desert. 
Mount Serbal dominated all the surrounding mountains; the valley, gradually 
sloping, came out on thi sea above Thor; the steep declivities, with their man] 
fissures and rounded rocks, plainly indicated the extraordinary violence of the 
water at the time when the rains make a furious torrent of this valley. We 
entered the mountains by a crevasse, resigning ourselves beforehand to anothi i 
when the nature of the soil suddenly changed. Bushes and 
shrubs, with silvery leaves and graceful outlines, soon gave place to trees, and 
sprouts of palms seemed to push aside the rocks to make room for their lovely 
foliage. 'Tins oasis is the onlj fertile wadi oi tin- peninsula of Sinai. Wadi- 
Faran, which introduced itseli so charmingly, became still more agreeable, as 
in penetrating farther we found ourselves in a forest oi magnificenl palms, 
through which ran a ravishing brook. The village, composed of earth huts. 
oncealed by the trees, whose branches touched the ground, starting from 



17 s I'll l\l> WORKS Of II M /i,'\ G&RdMl 

the highest pari ol the trunk. These new specimens of palms were most 
striking. The houses, low and level with the ground, were sometimes dug out 
below the level ol the road ; for in this gorge the mosi intense cold succeeds the 
suffocating heal from which we were suffering at thai moment. The less 
;erated color ol the mountains rendered more natural, so to speak, the 
background oi this magnificent picture. As yet we had met nothing as 
picturesque; instinctively we hastened to see who could make the first sketch 
of this lovely country, where, by unanimous vote, we stayed for several busy 
days. (G6r6me's portfolio ol sketches hears witness to his rapid and \ aried work 
at this picl uresque spot. > 

'Alter having visited some Egyptian rums which are still visible in the 
neighborhood, we started on the last march that was to bring its to Sinai. 
Wadi-Solaf, the 'Gorge ol the Wind.' was the last through which we were 
to |i.hs, hut it was one oi the most difficult. The path indicated by the 
crevasse forced us to dismount, and our dromedaries suffered from a series 
oi adventures before finishing this gutter promenade. Hut on reaching the 
mouth of the wadi, we were repaid foi ill 0U1 bruises b) the spectacle that 
lay before us. In trout. Sinai itsell towered up into space, its imposing 
silhouette vigorously outlined on the mountains around it. Djehel-Catlunne. 
which precedes and even overtops it, astounded US bv it> colossal proportion-.; 
some savants, on the lookout tor novelties ami historic contradictions, asserl 
that this is the true Sinai of Scripture. On the right, at an extraordinary 
height, we perceived some white constructions, nuns . . i a palace which Abbas 
Pasha, io gratify a caprice, caused to he buill in these inaccessible regions. 
Alter having scaled some very steep slopes we crossed a field of tall grasses 
of a pale yellow, which seemed by their nature, at once flexible and solid. 
Io he a kind of rush. It was a real least for our annuals, hut we were in haste 
to finish our journey and plied our whips energeticall) to subdue these 
stomachic caprices. Rounding I >jebel-Catherine we found ourselves suddenly 

in the valley which extends to the foot of lloreh and Sinai. Like a little 

fortress, the convent appeared hanging on the steep sides oi the mountain. 
and the flowering trees in its garden produced the gayest and most novel 
effeel in this country so arid and so lull of terrible souvenirs. Our camp was 

pitched in sight of the convent, and without delay we made a hit ol toilette 
and went to pay our formal visit to its hospitable tenants. 

Idle convent of Sinai is the most singular assemblage of constructions 
thai one can find. Extending from the Byzantine period to the lime ol the 
most modem \rahic art. every sort of architect lire is here mingled at pleas- 
ure. Colossal walls, flanked by towers and buttresses, lmvc to the convent 
the appearance of a greal fortress, quadrangular in its ensemble; while, 
conforming to the slope oi the mountain which forms its foundation, it 
appears to have wished to make the ascent ami to have remained suspended 
a pace like an eagle's nest. It is a little city, a castle ami stronghold which 

has SU8tained more than one attack and siege on the pari ol the Arab tribes 

who covet its treasures. It had thoroughly the appearance ol those castles 



1 1 1 h \ND WORKS OF / / L\ if.OX >,//■' [79 

01 the Middle Ages, where entire existences were passed in silence, and where 
the inhabitants only sallied out to make war. To judge by the heighl of the 
towers and their buttresses, they must have been but rarely scaled, and we began 
to wonder what could have been the drawbridge and the entrance to this impreg- 
nable fortress. It was by means of a kind ,.i basket hoisted bv a pulley that the 
monks communicated with the Outside world ; the chain which served to mount 
the loads and passengers was moved by a windlass, to which the monks har- 
nessed themselves in order to pull up their supply ol wood, that is to say. 
what the Arabs brought in exchange for some donation. On a fixed day 
a distribution took place, oi bread and wine, to all the poor ol the neighboring 
tribes; we were present at this curious ceremony where the bread fell literally 
from heaven. We liad counted on performing this little aSrial voyage our- 
selves, and penetrating into the convent by this singular opening, but w< 
arrived too late. The mania tor improvements had reached as tar as Sinai, 
and the good monks had indulged themselves to the extent of having a real 
dooi with knockers of the most modern and hateful style. This new entrance, 
which we perhaps inaugurated, wasn't worth as much to us as the basket 
The sacks of Hour and rice had the sole right to pas-, through this artistic 
entrance, which, as painters, we would gladly have shared, but the rule of 
the convent forbade the gratification of this caprice. 

"To begin at the beginning, we went to pay our respects to the Superioi 
he was in the library: a monk, with a line but rather sickly lace, received us 
and preceded us into the reception-room. To get there, we were obliged to 
climb up several inclined planes, mount several flights of steps, and pass suc- 
cessively through obscure and winding galleries, to find ourselves on a level with 
a second series ot constructions, which seemed like a second city built over tin 
first A vast court, adorned with three cypress trees, formed the center ol this 
second nest of buildings ; there we wound around again and finally climbed up 
a wooden staircase, an enormous ladder, as worm-eaten as it was slippery, .at the 
top of which we found ourselves on the principal balcony overlooking the in- 
terior court. There, by a little door, our amiable guide showed us into a low - 
ceilinged apartment with two windows one looking out on the court, the other 
on the garden. While waiting for the Superior, we were able to make a 
conscientious inspection of this strange chamber, where religious emblems. 
ChristS, portraits of popes, holy pictures, Greek inscriptions, and the most naive 
ex-votos were singularly mixed up with trifles, pipes with zouave heads, and 

pouches, as little biblical as our own. Wax matches from Marseilles 

excited our admiration, especiall} the photographs of the actrices ilu boulevard 
w huh adorned the colored boxes holding the aforementioned matches. To find 
Hortense Schneider and ThSrese in the convent id Sinai was startling! We 
11, , h able 10 contain ourselves when the Superior passed the matches 
around, but we did not dare to ask it they were family portraits. 111 view of the 
s, uiiv nature of the ('.reek costumes. On his return from the library the presen- 
tation took place; our reception was made with most charming gestures, lor 
the dragoman bore all the burden of our eloquence and we had only to approve 



l8o /.///■ I.Y/i WORKS Of II IX LiON G&ROME. 

l.\ a slight smile, which, however, permitted us to better observe our hosts. The 
Superior must have passed his sixtieth year; his strongly marked features were 
marvelousl] framed in by hair oi a remarkable whiteness; a long fine beard 
reached to his bell and fell like snow on the thick folds of a black robe which 
covered him from head to foot. Like the priests ol the Greek church, lie wore 
on his head a kind oi black felt miter ; a long veil, fastened on the top. and 
thrown back, protected the neck and shoulders from the rays of the sun. 

■The Superior presented to us the other monks oi the convent, the mosl 
important of whom had rejoined him in the reception salon. A repetition oi the 
dialogue l>v gestures and a repetition of Bmiles! G6r6me afterward took the 

portraits of these hospitable brethren. Aged, for the most part, their faces 
expressed the greatest gentleness; their severe costume gave them the appear- 
ance (d those ancient Byzantine patriarchs whose facsimiles adorned the walls , 
all their implements oi prayer consisted oi an enormous string of beads and a 
hook ot psalms written in Greek and Arabic. The mission oi these good monks 
is not simply to receive strangers and pilgrims, but to devote themselves to the 
profound study of the rare works and incomparable manuscripts which fill the 
library of the convent. This marvelous library is usually only accessible to 
monks; but our quality oi artist-painters, and. above all. the magnificent pro- 
portions oi our official dromedaries, smoothed away all difficulties; the Superior 
himself conducted us thither and dusted oil the most curious parchments and 
papyri. A Lite of the Saints, exquisitely decorated with paintings and por- 
traits, particularly excited our admiration by the purity ol design and brilliant 
coloring. These manuscripts alone are worth the whole journey, and we 
obtained permission to make prolonged studies among these chefs-d'oeuvre. 
They showed us also the lour Gospels entirely written, it appears, by the hand 
ol the Emperor Theodosius. The bindings are as remarkable in their way by 

the richness and taste which are displayed . some ol them, in carved wood, are 
loaded with ornaments m silver and gold, of most exquisite workmanship. Out- 
side ol the principal church, the convent is divided into an infinite number oi 
small chapels, each oi which is under the invocation of a special saint. Con- 
nected by corridors, they also communicate with the cells of the Fathers m such 
a way that each one has. so to Speak, his own particular little oratory. 'Idle 
principal church ilsell presents the same aspect of a basilica divided into distinct 
chapels, the rood-lofi of which is separated from the rest oi the nave by a wall 

and richly ornamented wainscoting. A colossal figure oi Christ dominates the 

choir, surrounded by images painted on a background ol gold in the style ol 
Russian decorations. Lamps in copper and silver, of graceful tonus, descend 
from the vault and are doubtless very tempting to pilgrims who are amateurs, 
lor visitor-, are QOt allowed to stay loo long within reach of these precious 
objets d'art. 

■■It would be difficult to name precisely the style of architecture which pre- 
dominates in this construction. Arched vaults, and heavy, widening capitals on 
short columns like those of Si. Sophia, are distinctive points in this church, as 
Byzantine as it i> Roman, where the most modern restorations are seen close 



LIFE AND WORKS <>/■ // l\ //u>\ GER&MI 183 

to the debris ol most primitive and incongruous ornamentation. The mosaics 
come, it is said, from Si. Sophia, which is very possible considering its very 
damaged state. Suddenly the monks who accompanied us assumed a very 
solemn air ami informed us thai we were about to be admitted to the sanctuary 
where God appeared to Moses. The altar of this little chapel is placed at the 
precise spot where formerly appeared the burning hush ; a night-light reflected 
by a gold plaque is the emblem ol this apparition, and it was with terrible 
gestures that the monk drew hack the veil which conceals this little light from 
the eyes .d the profane. This chapel is unquestionably the most curious and 
richly adorned of all. Stained-glass windows harmoniously temper the glaring 
light which would destroy the poetic charm of this sacred spot. Persian carpets 

were under our feet, and. as at the mosques, we were obliged to take oil OUT 

shoes .11 the entrance Moses himsell had given the example in obedience to 
the command. ' Take off thy shoes from thy feet, for the place where thou standest 
is holy ground.' Such is the biblical origin oi this custom, observed to-day by 
all Mussulmans at the doors of all their mosques. In one oi the contiguous 
chapels, placed, as well as the convent itself, under the protection id St. 
Catherine, we saw two chests of wood which contained two coffins in silver ol 
remarkable richness and workmanship. These work-, ol art. incrusted with 
enamel, gold, and precious stones, were presented by the great Catherine ol 
Russia, and one of them contains the remain-, ol the saint whose name was borne 
by the empress. Another shrine contained gold ami precious stones by the 
bushel, uotts and offerings oi illustrious pilgrims or important Russian person- 
ages. We thought ot the good haul the Mandrins du Desert, those roving 
robbers, could make here, were n noi I01 the vigilance ot the monks and the 
formidable ramparts which protect their convent. And, indeed, several attempts 
at assault by surprise have been made l>\ the Arabs, who are not ignorant o| 
the immense riches accumulated here tor centuries. The door of the church is 
curious as a work ol art ; formed ol panels of sculptured wood, it is a veritable 
lacework framing in marvelous enamels, the effect ot which is heightened b) 
iron work silvered over. 

"In going out, the monks called our attention to the nuns ot a mosque, the 
construction ol which in the interioi oi the convent had been exacted by Turk- 
ish authority as a si^n ot recognized sovereignty. The Arabs never penetrating 
to the spot, this fragment is useless ami in a state of absolute abandonment, 
which the government tolerates, provided its little cupola is always surmounted 
by the crescent of the Prophet, a pure question ol religious amour propre. The 
monks came several times to return our visits and our camp did not lack anima- 
tion ; the quantity ol information they gave us about the country was mm 
useful to us during the journey which we were still obliged to make befon 
reaching Akabah. These monks, thanks to their charity and erudition, are 
greatl) esteemed by all the tribes of the peninsula, who sometimes come lo 
consult them ami choose them as arbiters in their disputes. 

"The valley ot Horeb and Sinai at this point enjoys par excellence that 
grievous property oi mountainous countries great cold and stifling heat. We 



[84 



///•/• AND WORKS OF // I I ROME. 



had already noticed hoarfrosl in the crevices of the rocks which the sun did nol 
penetrate; to walk over snow with the thermometer at 88° had astonished us; 
but what annoyed us the mosl was the intense cold of the nights.and the 
mornings as long as the rays oi the sun were intercepted by the mountains. We 
were no longer surprised at the pelisses lined with fur worn bj the monks, nor 
at the stoves which adorned their cells. Our first night in camp was glacial; 

our camel-drivers having been as- 
sembled, we proceeded to build a 
colossal lire. All the debris of the 
valley, brushwood, roots, and bushes 
were piled on ; the flames roared 
up to an enormous height and 
threw fantastic shadows on the 
sides oi Sinai. The spectacle was 
magnificent. If Moses had hap- 
pened to l.e passing by, he would 
certainly have taken oil his shoes 
and prostrated himself ; hut he 
would only have heard violent 
recriminations against this Orient 
« la glace, oi which travelers have 
not spoken sufficiently, and against 
which one is never sufficiently 
fortified in these strange countries. 
' Bard&nn, barddnn kitir,' ' I am 
frozen'; such was the chorus that 
issued from this burning bush. 
The state of our poor dromedaries 
was pitiable ; m their distress they 
lay down one upon the other to 
obtain by this means a little more 
heat. In the morning we found our water frozen to a depth of twelve centi- 
meters, and had to go to the convent to wash our faces. 

• Mir sojourn at Sinai coincided with a joyous circumstance which caused 
a momentary sally from that contemplative calm that we had vowed to preserve 
to the end. It was the fete of our dear Doctor, and for six days the cook and 
his aids conspired to organize a Sardanapalian feast which would destroy all 
preconceived notions as to the privations and suffering oi the desert. It w 
Hive the lie to history, and our Stomachs were to put a good face on the matter. 
Two soups, four entrees, three roasts, a \.inct\ ol desserts, and above all mustard 
(/ discretion/ It was a first-class wedding feast with bombe glacie a la manne. 
At dessert on this memorable d.i\ as on all our great occasions, all the play- 
things of the colony came out ol their boxes: a top. Jules, loto. and cards took 
their turn. Our best wines were uncorked and served in glasses of all sizes; we 
in nh i formidabh pool at icarti, w here no one paid, and again the most patriotic 




LOVE, THE CONQUEKOB 

1889 
'ni que tu sot's, void ton maitre .' 
II I 'est, If fat. on le doit etre .' "' 
| Whoever thou art, beholJ thy ma 
lie is, he was, or should be! I 



LIFE AND WORKS Of // '• M ll.t<\ GEROML [85 

songs out countr) had ever inspired awakened terrific echoes among the moun- 
tains. The good monks had been invited and bad not disdained to take pari in 
our little festivity. We smoked, drank, and sang a greal pari oi the night, and 
onlj .1 little call oi gold was wanting! The most beautiful tam-tams of the 
kitchen were brought into play, the tumuli was soon al its height, and it was 
enough to break all the tables of the law. To expiate ibis life oi disorder and 
darkness, the next dav was entirely devoted to the perilous ascension oi the 
boh mountain, which promised a fatigue similar to thai we bad experienced at 
the Pyramids. Here, without the vestige of an Arab to pull one up or lend a 
helping hand, each one had to scale for himsell the angulai and slippery rocks. 
" Sinai, composed essentially of granite, presents the appearance ol a moun- 
tain bristling with teeth, its roughness and crevasses being due to the action oi 
tire and violenl volcanic convulsions. The color oi the granite is red from the 
top to the bottom, which increases the terribly imposing aspect ol the mountain, 
rbe monks have endeavored to outline a kind oi staircase, but ibis Cyclopean 
task bad to be performed every year, alter every fall oi snow and descent of the 
torrents that brought down with them the stones which the fathers had used foi 
tbis work. Alter climbing painfully Mount lloreb. which serves as a buttress to 
Sinai, we commenced the more difficult ascension, where th< path was still less 
indicated and where the pointed rocks to which we clung became more slippery 
than ever. Our boots suffered sadly from ibis trip, ami we wondered bow the 
bare feel oi the Prophel could havi traversed these razor blades. Half-waj up we 
came to a little isolated platform, where there is the only cypress tree to be found 
on the Whole mountain, which serves as a sort oi landmark for travelers in find 
their way and to inform them bow much farther they have to go. We made our 
lirst halt at tbis spot and sat down to take breath, Sinai has the deplorable 
reputation of being peopled 1>\ serpents and enormous lizards. It was to the 
intense cold we owed the real favor of not seeing a single one. We saw on the 
w,i\ the plant thai produces the manna, which the monks gather with the 
greatest care. The manna of Sinai bas the reputation ol being superior to ill 
other, and the convent oi St. Catherine could have obtained more than one 
medal it the Arabs bad ever thought oi holding the slightest exposition! But 
they are above all such trifles. To be truly Hebraic, we tasted tbis singular food, 
which enjoys, however, the peculiarity of having no taste at all ! Little by little, 
a 1 arrived at a very satisfactory height, for we came into the region ol snow. 
We longed to reach the end. It was not attained withoul difficulty, but the 
spectacle which awaited us there repaid us effectually foi the fatigue ol the 
ascent. The summit of Sinai forms a nr.iiU level plateau ; one oi the sides, in 
tbe direction oi Ib.u, being perpendicular from top to bottom. From tbis plat- 
form a wonderfully extended panorama spread OUl around us; tbe two arms ol 
tbe Red Sea and of tbe (lull ol Akabab uniting al tbe extremity of tbe peninsula 
witb tbe opposite banks of the two seas visible through a silvery fog vvbicb 
bli tided witb tbe water; at our righl and our kit. the converging crests ol all 
tbe Sinaitic chains oi tbe Peninsula, Mount Serbal and Djerbal-Catherine seeming 
to overtop Sinai itself, although not presenting as imposing an appearance as tbe 



[86 



/.//■/•: AND WORKS (>/■ JEAN LEOA GER&MI 



sacred mountain. An immense flagstone of natural formation is indicated as the 
spot where God appeared to Moses and where the tables of the law were given 
to him. Certainly the locality corresponds in every respecl to the descriptions 
in the Bible, and nothing could have been more striking than the perpendicular 
and jagged rocks which extended clear down to the valley of Rephidim, where 
the people ol Israel awaited the return oi the holy patriarch. 

"From ibis point one is shown the spol where Moses, supported by the 
two Le\ ites lifted up his hands during the battle in which the hosts of Amalek 
retreated in good ordei before the soldiers ol Israel. A little Creek chapel 
hi> been constructed on the platform at the summit, where every week one oi 
the monks of the convent comes to officiate; the Mussulmans, jealous of the 
Christian souvenirs attached to this mountain, began to build a mosque which 
is in ruins to-day. but where they siill show the footprint of the camel of the 
Prophet. The ascent being absolutely impossible to a dromedary, this foot- 
print is stoutly disputed. Ii may have been made bj the Prophet himself. 
but then, what a foot! In the Greek chapel, which is the grotto where Moses 
look refuge in order not to see Cod laee to lace, a pious legend calls attention 
also to an imprint on the wall said to be that oi the patriarch's head. Here one 
is tempted to exclaim, not 'What a head'' but, 'Whal a bump he must have 
given himself!' After having satiated ourselves with the grand spectacle 
before us, we proceeded to a little breakfast in which manna figured but 
scantily. A tremendous religious discussion broke out at dessert and varied 
the fatigues oi the day. There were plenty ot pros ami cons, and the most 
erudite theologians would not have been able to draw any conclusions from 
our arguments, which were as subtle as they were inexhaustible! The 
coffee and the liqueurs having been generously served, the dispute was on the 
point ol becoming envenomed, and it required all our energy to retrain 
from throwing each other down I he mountain, where sufficiently terrible 
dramas had been enacted without our adding another tragedy. One of the 
orators had the wit to turn this conference in the clouds into the chorus of a 
SOng, and we descended from the mountain-top in a State Oi perfect accord — 

lor the time being. Our return to camp was saluted l>\ a second great feu 
de /<>/(' and above all ot wood, for which all the remaining combustible 
material was brought into requisition by our Arabs. 'I'he wail ot ' Barddnn, 
barddnn kitir,' again arose, and we rolled ourselves up in our blankets at an 
earl) hour with a satisfaction unequaled in history. 

"I'he next dav was passed at the convent, the garden ot which we had 
et visiied Ml the trees were in blossom; these white and rose-colored 
tufts on the branches contrasted singularly with the desolation which reigned 
round about this little paradise. The vegetable mold, which explained its 
incredible fertility, had been brought from Egypt on camel-back; one can form 
some idea of the patience and time which the monks needed to accomplish 
llns result. Arbors, shaded with vines and sv mmctrieally disposed, trans- 
ported us suddenly to one of those too minutely cared-for villas in the 
environs of Paris. In the center, a low door seemed to lead into a cave, and 



LIFE AND WORKS Ol- //.l.\ I IAK\ G£rOME, 1S7 

in truth ii was the entrance to the necropolis oi the monks. h is hi 
the bones oi the monks and brothers are heaped up in two distincl rooms. 
The bones oi the skeletons were ranged in categories ; the heads in one place, 
the tibiae together, and so on, lor cadi membei I Ik- patriarchs alone arc pre- 
served entire, in boxes which recall the sarcophagi oi Egyptian mummies. 

The season ol the year did not permit us to taste the tnuts ol this delicious 

11. where a sample ol everj known tree seemed to figure; lull, to judge 

by tile blossoms, the crop must have realized their loudest hopes. In the 

absence ol fruit, the fathers offered us some vegetables, which had an enoi 

minis success in view ol the privations on thai score we had endured since 

our departure from Cairo. They gave each ol us a little bag of manna and 
a Imk mi tube idled with honey made by the bees oi the sacred mountain. Con- 
sidering thai this link- religious brotherhood, isolated among the mountains, 
wants lor nothing and even entertains very hospitably, one is apl to wonder 

what is the source oi this tranquil ease m the midsl ol these desert countries. 
The revenues ol the convent come from farms which the communities possess 

ill the islands ol Cyprus and Crete; moreover, rich endowments have keen 
made b) several empresses of Russia and rich pilgrims. Ii is nol without 
reason that the Arabs have long coveted the treasures accumulated there, 

kill Russia watches closely over the convent and would severely punish any 

indiscretion. In inscribing our names on the register before leaving, we saw 
nature ol General Bonaparte at the bottom ol a firman written by his 
own hand, assuring to the convent his protection, the prestige oi which has 
not yet disappeared from among the tnkes ol the peninsula. Finally, our 
pockets Stuffed with innumerable dainties, we lore ourselves away from this 
hospitable circle, mutually pleased with the reciprocal favors, lor we did nol 
tail to leave a bakchich. which largely compensated lor our entertainment. 
"The Wadi-Saal, by which we resumed our route, offered nothing new except 

the perspective Ol a new series oi narrow J^or^cs and wadis similar lo those 

which we already had traversed. The Arabs, however, regard ii as oi great 
importance, for it incloses the tomb of a venerated sheikh. The possession ol 
the marabout oi the Sheikh Salch is. we weie told, an eternal subjeel o| war 
between the tribes jealous of this privileged hearse, The country, however, has 
a less desolate aspect than thai pari of the peninsula which separates Sinai 
from the cit) ol Suez. Tamarisks, and bushes w iih gray, trembling foliage, filled 

our dromedaries with a joy fulness which we did not vet share. Was il sadness 

at parting with the good monks or apprehension ol the unknown regions before 
us? Like the Hebrews in the desert, we had our little discouragements, but 
they did not lasl long. The Wadi-Schkattah was preparing for us a marvelous 
surprise the nexl day. At the opening ol the valley the mountains seemed 

Suddenly to change their direction, and. widening OUl on each side, gave place 
lo an immense plain ol white and rose sand. An Indian city Willi lowers, 

pa las. minarets, and domes suddenly appeared before us. Ledges super] 

served foi pedestals to these constructions and intensified the effect. It only 

needed elephants to complete the illusion, for all that we saw was simply a 



\ 



<88 mi and works Of n uv i/i'x g£r6mi 

mountain. Terraces and details of sculpture were so clearly outlined that we 
positively thoughl ol making a long detour in order to draw nearer to the 
mountain and convince ourselves thai it Rally was a delusion. But our 
arrangements for our journey to Akabah did not permit oi alteration, to our 
great regret, as we should nave greatly liked to make some sketches of this 
marvelous panorama. This Babylon seemed surrounded by colossal walls 

Hanked by battlemented towers ; it 
merged on the horizon into another 
series oi plateaus ol more vivid 
tones, which helped to render more 
natural this hum-,' .i| ., greal citj 
built on the side of a mountain. 
The Wadi-Ain, which we reached 
the same daj offered no compen- 
sation tor tin- superb spectacle we 
were leaving, save the si^ht of an 
abundant spring, shaded by palms, 

where we expected to bathe. Hut 

in this limpid water I'urked a dan- 
ger which we happily perceived 

in lime ; it contained myriads <>t 
tin) leeches which could have 
produced most disastrous results. 
Our animals, who did not inspect 
the water so carefully, must have 
given themselves a pronounced fit 

ol indigestion, and we had con- 
siderable trouble in making them 
understand that we were in haste 
to reach the sea in order to take 
0U1 bath in turn. 
" Ignorantly we tied from the leeches to a greater danger, tor this part of 
i the Gull oi Akabah i^ literally infested by sharks. And, moreover. 
it was only alter our second bath that the Arabs took the precaution to inform us 
ol this interesting fact, for a camel-driver is not expected to think oi everything 
at once' These dangerous shores owe this favor to the quantity oi fish found 
lure The clearness ol the water and its tranquillity permitted us to see the fish 
from the shore, and it is under these conditions that the Arabs fish with the line, 
the net, or. so to speak, by hand. Idle coast here differed absolutely from the 
borders ol the Red Sea coming from Sue/; then- were no horribly pointed rocks 
anil stones, but a line rOS) sand which made one recall the beach at TrOUVille. 
Shells of various tints were scattered around and looked like enormous flowers 
cast up by the waves. There we saw a great quantity of coral in formation, 
veritable scarlet sponges oi a most brilliant hue. from which it appears the name 
of the Red Sea has been borrowed. The sod hereabouts is sufficiently fertile and 



LIFE XND WORKS <>/■ JEAN LEON GERi 1X9 

well stocked with springs to attracl the Vrabs en villegiatura. Their employmenl 
consists exclusively in fishing in this sea that is calmer than a lake. The first 
da) of our arrival two fishermen presented themselves in costume ; that is to say, 
clad in theiT nets and line*. They must have belonged to the tribe of Beni- 
guenons, for we had never imagined that nun could look so much like monkeys. 
Their awkward gestures, their winking eyes, and the frightful contraction oi 
their jaws made us reluctant to acknowledge them as friends and brothers. 
We were guilty of the naivete oi offering to pay them for their lish in money, 
but they would only exchange their merchandise foi something to eal . we had 
not reflected that, afflicted with an absolute absence of any pocket, they could 
not carrj their purses with them. These two gorillas interested us greatly ; they 
wen real savages; we gave them something to eat and, thinking they would 
want to drink also, we ordered them a gargoulette of fresh water. 'Thanks.' 
replied the fisherman, I drank yesterday 1 ' We little expected this lesson in 
temperance, translated to us by our dragoman, but the reply was so decided thai 
we fell some scruples about insisting. He allowed himself, however, to taste a 

little glass of brand}', which probably caused htm to see the heavens halt- 
op. ned. lor in his joy he executed jumps that would have achieved the despair 
ol Auriol. Broiled on hot stones, which were applied like mustard-plasters, the 
tisb were excellent. We made om two apes understand that we should be happy 
to have some more, but that, as we were obliged to resume our journey, they 
must accompany us; we would stufl them with eatables and they should be 
attached to the caravan as grand fishers in ordinary to our Majesties. This was 
very agreeable to them and they started at once lor the spot where we were 
going to camp. 111 order to have tune to lish before Our arrival. Like real frogs, 
they leaped into the water, disappeared, and returned to the bank to ascertain 
their catch. This mode of fishing was very amusing, and, while pursuing our 
march, we followed them along the shore; suddenly they made us a sij^n to 
approach, pointing to a spot where our inexperienced eyes distinguished at first 
onh .1 gray mass floating between two currents. It was an immense skate, about 
rive meters long, almost stranded; u was snapping up the thousand little lish 
that swarmed near the shore. The Arabs surrounded 11 adroitl) and, having no 

lines, but our revolvers, we rushed 0111 dromedaries into the water , they entered 
in breast-high and we were just about to finish it when, with a single bound, the 
huge lish cleared itself and shot away, to our general stupefaction. To tisb 
with pistols from the backs <>f dromedaries is a novelty certainly worthy to be 
recorded in the annals of pisciculture ' A new sight soon attracted our attention : 
shoals oi tin) silvery lish sprang through the air, disappeared, and reappeared 
farther on. like clouds oi butterflies ; the presence oi pursuing fish explained this 
singular maneuver l>v which these poor creatures endeavored to throw their 

enemies oft the track and escape llie pursuit. 

"At this point on the gulf we had before us a charming little island, where 
the ruins oi a fortress ami a convent are still tolerably well preserved; it is 
called Kourieh. It was formerly an important strategic poinl al the time when 
the (lull of Akabah was more frequented, being traversed by all the caravans 



///■/■ l\/> WORKS Ol /I l\ l!,'\ i. /ATM// 

coming from Arabia and India. Unhappily it is in this spc-1 thai the sharks have 
established their center oi operations, and numerous accidents have happened in 
consequence ol the imprudence ol travelers who have been tempted to traverse 
the distance between the shore and this little islet. We bathed there, howevi r, 
bul with the greate .1 precautions (II was near this point that Ger6me made his 
sketch for his famous painting ol Quarens quern devoret.) The mountains, 

which reach here to the water's edge, present a most imposing aspect by their 

grand hoi izontal lines ; the sharp peaks and jagged rocks having given pi 
immense plateaus, rising one over the other, with drifts of sand here and there. 
so astonishingly white that from a distance il can easily lie mistaken lor snow. 
The warm coloring of the soil, the pearl-gray and light green of the foliage, give 
to the landscape the softest ami most harmonious ol tones. Il was there that we 
saw tor the first time the donm-palm, whose thousand branches, grafted on .a 
single trunk, make il one ol the strangest ami most picturesque ol trees. It 
produces as a fruil a kind of almond, which we tried in vain to eat. hut to which 
ill- Arabs attribute preservative properties against illness and aboveall against 
the evil eye \t last we arrived at a point where the citj ol ^kabah appeared 
at the entrance of a magnificent grove oi palm-,, on the other side of the gulf. 
Our attention was distracted for a moment by singular heaps of stone-, ranged 
symmetrically across the route we were following. In a country where the 
mountains toui h the heavens, so i" speak, and form almost impassable boundaries 
between each tribe, the Arabs experience the need ol adding these little heaps oi 
pebbles to define more exactly the precise limits ol their respective little 
Having ridden roughshod over these ab turd ban. ades, we ceased to be under the 
i. ml ol the sheikh who had protected us till now. We were entering on 
new territory and were now going to encounter end and military authorities 
unknown and much more serious. The overturning ol on oi these boundary 
walls would otter a sufficient pretext lor a declaration of war and be the signal fi ■< 
bloody reprisals throughout the entire country. Thus, being sufficiently con- 
vinced of the importance of these border beds, we henceforth made the tour oi 
them with great respect, knowing beforehand what villainous characters we had 

to deal with. 

"Akabah is unquestionably the point in our desert journey which made the 
most profound impression upon us, by the savage and picturesque character of all 
that we saw. from the brilliantly colored costumes of the inhabitants to the 
strange constructions with their marvelous decorations. Before us the blue-green 

nil palm trees mirrored in its transparent wave; an extraordinary vege- 
tation, which reminded us ol the □ d parts Oi Fayoum ; houses built el 

claw carefully aligned, and whose doors were surmounted by Arabic orna- 
mentations almost barbaric in style. Moreover, the types of the population 
differed from those we bad hitherto mel ; tall and strong, these athletes looked 

lously well in their Ion- red robes ; a black kouffie covered their bead- and 

heightened still furthei the wild expression oi their manly physiognomies. 
There were doubtless >> pn • Qtativi Ol several tribes bete, for several oi these 
Arabs had v ei \ white skms. their resemblance to Europ ir acquaintance 



/.//■/ AND WORKS OF JEAN LEON GER&M1 191 

being quite startling. Scarcely had our tents been si ret clu-d under the outlying 
palms when a numerous deputation came to l>i<l us welcome, and, al the same 
time, and above all, assure themselves <>l the resources we could offei for their 
industry ol thieving and pilfering. Our kitchen tenl wasvoted themost inter- 
esting, and swarmed with amateurs, among whom the most formidable sheikhs 
in the country did not disdain to figure, ordering an uninterrupted series ol i ups 
of coffee and petits verres. Our poor cook Achmet could not till hall the demands 
ol this horde, who, like a sel of chimpanzees, turned over and examined 
thingthey could laj hands on. By a system o1 telegraphy which the Arabsalone 
understand, and practice marvelously among themselves, our departure from Suez 
had been signaled ; the quantity and quality ol our official dromedaries, the num- 
ber of our tents and our chickens all had been heralded; we had been expected 
for a month, to judge by our crowds ol visitors ami the extraordinary welcome 
which overwhelmed us. for we were honored during the evening by salvos ol 
firearms and a display ol fireworks. Our presentation to the Sheikh of Akabah 

COUld nol take place till the following day, becaUSI lie had gone to steal camels 

h mi some neighboring tribes and had not yet returned from his expedition ; such 
was the explanation given us of the absence ol this prince' And it was the 
son himself who furnished us with these interesting details as to the occupation 
ol Ins noble father! The evening of our arrival, the young Governor of the 
Citadel came to see us. accompanied by his Grand-Master ol Artillery and the 
principal officers of his military household. The sole emblem ol his explosive 
functions which distinguished the Grand-Master ol Artillery from the rest was a 
long pole, at the end ot which trembled a tiny fuse, which was to touch oil the 
dozen firecrackers to be burned in our honor The Governor seemed to be 
about thirty years ol age and did not appear to be very much enchanted with the 
official post he held in the locality, where his authority was trifling in comparison 
with that of the Grand Sheikh, who was for the moment absent on his thieving 
tournee. Ills role as representative of the Viceroy was to see to the revict- 
ualing ot the Caravan ol Mecca, going and returning. It is a halt which all 

pilgrims are forced to make, on account of the configuration of the desert which 
remains to be crossed ; a station where they arrive generally having exhausted 
their last supplies ol food and water. It is to come to the aid of this pious want 
oi forethought on their pari that the government has organized this colossal 
buffet, without which the caravan would be obliged to devour itself en route, in 
order to reach the holy city. The little fete, the firecrackers, and illuminations 
had lasted far on into the night, and we were eager to get to sleep under the 

protection ol these brigands, armed with every imaginable weapon, and with 

whom we were constrained to be I \tieiuch amiable. 

" It was about five o'clock in the morning and we were all sleeping the 
sleep "I the just when the dragoman, greatly excited, came to awake us, 
announcing the arrival of the Grand Sheikh himself, the real, the only 
Mohammed-Gadd ; at once the greatest, the most powerful, and ugliest! 
Mounted on a beautiful mare, covered with a cloth all embroidered in red silk 
and gold, the sheikh appeared en silhouette on the horizon, like a monument. 



I')-' ///■/ l.\ /' H ORK& Ol II I \ I I <>\ i.l i 

He was followed by a number oi others, armed like himself to the teeth, and 
dressed in the brilliant red robes which we had noticed the day before. Drag- 
ging on the ground al the end oi a leather strap was an enormous pistol, which 
produced a terrific clanging as it rattled over the stones; while in his lefl hand 
he lu-Id a lance immoderately long and adorned with tufts of ostrich plumes. 
His chibouk between his lips, he fell off rather than descended from his horse, 
and. with the assurance of a man who knows his importance, walked into the 
tent where we were to receive him ; not finding us there, he passed immediately 
into the kitchen where he ordered, mihs ceremonie, everything he could gulp 
down. Tins matinal visit had taken us unawares and the dragoman was very 
much vexed by this contretemps, which compelled us to make Mohammed-Gadd 
himself wad torus' Awakened with a start, our Colonel, greatly fatigued bj 
the journej oi the previous day, was particularly exasperated, and the drag- 
oman, more and more anxious, recommended us to observe the greatest courtesy 
on account of the danger attending our staj in the territories oi these brigands. 
While we were hastily donning the most indispensable vestments, to undergo 
this official presentation, he came to report the flattering words which had fallen 
from the lips of the sheikh, while he was swallowing everything that the cook 
had not been able to hide from him! If we had not soon made our appearance 

mptied our bottles, for in our absence //<■ was doing the hi 
Oi our kitchen in passing glasses and cups down the line formed by his numer- 
ous brothers and friends who had escorted him to the camp Warned of our 
approach, he hastily quitted the kitchen, like a child surprised in l In pri 
closet' He installed himselt in the salon, and. taken unawares in his turn, it 
was with his mouth full and a biseuil in each hand that lie received us! The 
most extravagant compliments were exchanged through the medium alwa 
the dragoman : in the midst of the stars, we were roving planet ade oi 

suns and stray pearls of the Occident ' etc.. etc. To reply to all these charming 
hes, our Colonel, addressing himself to the dragoman, replied, Tell him 

that now I have seen hiui my happiness is complete, and in order that nothing 

may disturb it. I am going at once to bed J " No soonei said than done I The 
greal Mohammed-Gadd seemed profoundly touched by this delicate attention! 
The rest ol the little band remained to lill his cup and pass him the SUgar-bowl, 

into which, by way of simplifying matters, he finally emptied hi The 

time passed in a reciprocal examination of costumes; we took ott first one thing 
and then another in order to pass things around more easily : our boots partic- 
ularly excited his admiration. lie himself had superb ones, entirely red. and 

so la re. i < li ol his feet must have had to take two or three steps inside of 

barges in order to drag them after him. We showed him our revolvers; 
he showed us /,- sabre de son p&re.' It was also the saber ol his grandfather, oi 
Ins great-grandfather, and in fact oi all his ancestors; for this marvelous and 
terrifying blade dated back to Abou-Bekr. The Arabic inscriptions, admirably 
engraved en relief and inlaid with gold, made this weapon an objet d'art id 
the greatest value. The coffee, the cognac, and the liqueurs were not sp 
during this little exposition, ami we became greatly concerned at the rapid 



>* 



: 



.., 










nil. RETURN I-KOM THE CHASE 



LIFE AND WORKS Ot Jl i\ L£OA Gl 195 

disappearance <>t our must cherished supplies. Thinking to do us a great 
pleasure he promised to conic again and sec us ; we thanked him effusively, 
promising ourselves nol to be caughl at heme. The refreshments must have 
struck him as being first-class, for at the end of an hour a fresh clanging of the 
pistol over the stones announced his return with a new series ot sheikhs, redder. 
greedier, and thirstier than the others! Our poor cook, raising his hands to 
heaven, uttered wails of despair, lor the cups and glasses began a more rapid 
circulation than ever. Between two cups, Mohammed-Gadd presented in us ins 
brother, the Sheikh Mak-Boul, little, thin, dried-up, ami black ; it was he who 
was to accompany us as far as Petra ami secure ! < > t us ,1 hiendh reception by 
the different tribes. The diplomatic intervention of the governot ol th fortress 
was necessary before we could get rid of this always increasing invasion <>i 
thirsty visitors, 'The friends ot friends brought their friends, and our canteens 
began to grow alarmingly light. 

"Akabah is to-day the most important city in all Arabia I consid- 

erably more so than Petra, which is only the rum of a great city, the haunt ill 
the thieves and brigands who are designated by the term rebellious tribes. I he 
exceptional situation ol Akabah and the marvelous vegetation which charac- 
terizes us environs seem to prove that n is built mi the same site as the 
ancient .F.lnna. known among the Hebrews under the name ol Blath, and 
m ul in Exodus. It was al the end ol' this gulf that the port ot A.sion- 

gaber was situated, from whence the fleets >>i Solomon carried as far as the 
Indies the renown of his glory and his little collection ot proverbs. Dur- 
ing our stay here we were industriously employed in making a sen 
must interesting studies. The most important tribes of this part of Arabia 
held out a long time against the troops "i Mehemet AH. who revenged him- 
sell by cutting down all the palm trees in the country around the gulf, which 
reduced to nothing the richness ol this territory for many years. To steal 
camels and cut down palm trees constitute the basts of the w.hIh ind 
in by these different tribes among themselves, for, profoundly cowardly as 
individuals, these Arabs rarely encounter each other in a hand-to-hand fight; 
they delight to pepper each other from a distance, crouching behind a rock, 
or to tumble down half a mountain 011 each other's heads ' 

"The governor of the fortress invited us to \ isit his little citadel. Sur 
rounded by wide ditches, it occupied the southwestern part ol the city. Its 
high walls are Hanked by towers, where four cannon, disabled and useless, 
terrify the tribes by their mere appearance The Grand-Master ol Vrtillerj 
explained to us his system of defense m case of attack, but having occasion to 
notice that the ammunition was three times the size suitable to load these 
deadlj cannon, we did not place much confidence in his representations. The 
casemates and interior galleries of this stronghold had a sat racter which 

delighted us; they recalled, from a decorative point of view, the odd descrip- 
tions of Salammbo, by a formidable display of iron bars, of pikes, of extraordi- 
narily long lances, ami rusty sabers, which must have dated from the creation. 
bo primitive and barbarous were their forms. As in the most thrilling periods 



[96 nil >M< WORKS Ot Jl \\ //t>\ (,!/,: 

of the Middle Ages, there were piles oi stones carefully ranged mar tin- ram- 
parts, ready to In- pitched down on the assailants; they showed us also the 
copper pol for the boiling oil and tin- torches destined to set the village on fire 
al need Greek fire was the only thing lacking in this little museum oi < 1 
oi destruction. The prisons ol the fortress were also ven inspiring, bul we dis- 
pensed with the sight ol the instruments "I torture reserved for the prisoners. 

Besides, there were rows of posts 
arranged like gas-lamps in the court, 
which were simply gallows on winch 
the recalcitrants oi the little garrison 
wen- wont to dangle in space. The 
governor ol Akabab is only the repre- 
sentative oi the government of Cairo, 
and this post is generally very little 
sought lor by the Egyptian diplomats. 
This mission </< confiance is often the 
/ result ot disgrace, or an absence necessi- 

tated by a too pronounced devotion to 
roulette and trente-et-quarante. We could 
not divine the special case oi our host. 
but this exile weighed heavily on bim, 
to judge by his si^hs every lime we 
mentioned ('.mo or Paris. To thank 
him tor his gracious reception we look 
his photograph twice, and invited him 
to dinner, together with his ally Mo- 
hammed-Gadd. The tablecloth again 
suffered woefully, lor a horrible and 
sickening messing with the fingers 
began. They barely escaped maiming 
themselves with their forks, which they 

at first tried to use; the spoons were less rebellious; but the most exquisite 
dishes ol our cuisine were not to their taste ; the English mustard, pepper, 
and onions, however, had a tremendous success. With a heaping SpOOU the 
sheikh saturated his throat, his beard, and his clothes ; but these spots, flagranl 
proofs oi his gluttony, were far from intimidating him. and when he had 
rinsed out the first pol ol mustard, he asked lor a second, smiling like a 
babj asking for more preserves! And then commenced a vocal guttural concert 
ot satisfaction, which from long experience we expected, and which on their 
pari was 1 prool o| the gratitude with which their stomachs were overloaded. 
During "in sojourn we had made one friend; it was the nephew ol Mohammed- 
Gadd himself, and son ol the Sheikh Mak-Boul, who was 1.. accompanj us as i.n 
as I'elra. This child, about ten years old, had a remarkably line and expres- 
sive lace, his gentle disposition had won our affection and consoled us lor the 
Iron ions aspect ol bis relatives ; he took licit her coffee nor brand v and thai 



Ill I \ND WORKS (>/■ /I I \ //.'\ G£RdM£. [9; 

oi itself, sufficient title to our esteem. He also was to form pari oi our escort 
with his father, but only as far as the principal encampment of Ins tribe. 

••Our departure for Petra was fixed foi the nexl day, and 11 was not without 
regret thai we abandoned our superb dromedaries to bestride common camels, 
much less swift and less easy of gait. The adieux i<> our camel-drivers from 
Sinai and to the original drivers were touching. The two soldiers who had 
accompanied us received a bakchicb which so far surpassed their mosl 
expectations that the} became almosl crazed with joy, foi our Colonel had 
counted out to each a hundred francs in ten-franc gold pieces. As each little 
piece jingled down, then- eyes widened with admiration, and when the count was 
finished, the Arabs stood petrified, with open hands and gaping mouths, unable to 
believe thai this fortune was for them ; in all their lives they had never seen so 
much gold ai one nine. I"h. |o\ oi ihese good people was indescribable, and they 
could not find expressions sufficiently extravagant or Oriental to testif) to their 
regrel at leaving us. A last grasp of the hand, a last look, and we started m dif- 
ferent directions, promising ourselves to meet again somewhere, some day. We 
passed up above the village in a northeasterly direction and entered on a new 
series oi wadis ; the mountains were a succession oi plateaus ol a deep yellow col- 
oring, more bizarre than agreeable to the eye. No incident broke the monotony 
of our first encampments save the apparition ot some coveys oi partridges, which 
us .m opportunity to polish up our guns which had lain untouched since we 
[eft lavoum. These partridges, as large as our largest fowls, are nol hunted by 
the Arabs lor the want of powder; they differ from the European birds, their 
flesh being quite tough; hut we were happy enough to have them. Their gray 
color makes it difficult to distinguish them at first from the soil, bin the Arabs 
have good eyes and they delighted to point them out to us. The tribes to which 
our new camel-drivers belonged were of a much more restless character I ban 
those ot the Sinaitic peninsula, and they loaded the camels and put up the tents 
to the sound oi .1 war song. This was about the style : one ot tin Arabs chanted 
a couplet and all the rest took up the chorus ; there were questions and responses 
as in the tragedies oi Sophocles. Weasked for the translation ol some oi these 
strophes, whose poetic fancies and Oriental metaphors have a wondrous resem- 
blance to the cheerful sublimities ol -some modern writers ! Here is a specimen : 

".//; Arab alone: ' He is there, he is there, he is there!' 

"Chorus: 'Who? who' who? who'' 

" The Soloist: 'The enemy Ol our tribe ; I do not see him ; he sees me. 
Presently I will see bun ami he will not see me!' And so on for entire hours 
without cessation. 

" Another idiocy of the same quality : ' There is a lion who is a wolf, for I. a 
wolf, am a lion, and 1 will conquer him by my strength, And his children will 
be the sla\es ol our children, unless they are their masters.' Which shows 
clearh' that if M. — had not died in France, he would still be living among 
the wadis of Arabia- Petraea ' Moreover, these war songs d lagommeare entirely 
17/ rapport with the harmless combats which the Arabs wage among themselves, 
a specimen ol which we had at Petra; the} are so afraid of getting hurt that 



'i LIFE IX/> IVOK/CS 01 // I V LEON GERdMB, 

they content themselves with uttering piercing cries and making terrible ges 
tures, after which they embrace each oilier desperately, invoking Allah and 
thanking him for the victories they have gained over— themselves I It is gen- 
erally in this final embrace thai they relieve each other ol all valuables in 
sign ol reconciliation, in order nol to lose their skill and to keep their hand in. 
I hi e periodica] and obligatory vocal concerts amused us for several days and 
we sometimes even look part in them, improvising stanzas; hut a1 the eighth 
encampmenl we fell thai we were going crazy, and it needed Beveral diplomatic 
(ours ./, force to persuade these artists thai their poetry, though ravishing, was 
beginning to give us an attack ol the nerves! The verj evening that we 
expected some relief, we were greatlj surprised t.> hear them recommence 
more furiously than ever; astonished by our reproaches, they informed us thai 
tins time they were singing pro-,,-: and that to please us thej had even changed 
the music. We did not wish to annoy them further, so we endured to the bitter 
i nd. "uh begging them to lower tin- torn- an octave! Lance in hand, the great 
Mohammed-Gadd had accompanied us; mounted on his steed <>! battle, he 

indulged in extraordinary cries anil gestures to quicken its pace, tor the | r 

d. staggering under his weight, could with difficulty keep up with the long 
stride hi "in camels At the entrance of the Wadi-Guerra, the sheikh took 
oi us. intrusting us to the care ol his brother Mak-Boul and the latter's 
little son The child rude en croupe on the paternal saddle, holding ill his arms 
a little gazelle which he dandled like a dull. To inspire our new guide with a 
ect confidence, we invited him and his son to take their meals with us. 
We did nol regrel this move, lor it assured us all his zealous authority in the 
dangerous environment which attended our departure from Petra, In order to 
return our hospitality, he invited us to dine with him when we reached the 
principal encampmenl id ins tribe; it was a horrible repetition of the slovenly 
repasts we had already endured in the tents of these Hedoums ; diving up to the 

elbows into a dish ol nee hills and passing a sauce ill a kind id wooden sabot, in 

which each one dipped his rice-ball before putting it in his neighbor's mouth .' 

"As we left the desert of Thi farther and farther to the left, the country 
became more and more verdant. Tall grasses and (lowers of every color softened 
ill. yellow and red tints ol the rocks; againsl the background ol these warm-toned 
mountains, the silvery-leaved shrubs looked even more metallic than on the sand, 
where we had already seen them, (hi the horizon, a little to our light, rose 
Djebel-Isagra. We had ordered our tents pitched in a natural amphitheater 
formed by the rocks; we found ilun several Bocks of sheep, camels, and goats 
which, like us. had sought shelter from the wind. From this Noah's at k of ani- 
mals we could make our choice, and we adopted a young camel which had been 
abandoned by its mother ; it looked like a large goat, and its youth was an excuse 
tor its absolute lack of education, lor it soon became extravagantly familiar with 
us, entering our lents and not disdaining to roll on our beds! This foundling 
wi baptized with the name ol Young Eliakim, The country became more and 
green; it was an ocean ol hushes ai almost equal distances, the quivering 
foliage giving to the desert the app< .nance of a foaming and agitated sea. 



Ill/ AND WORKS Ol Jl '. M //ru G&R&M1 199 

"We followed the Wadi-Delaga and the AIn-R6isin between two white walls 
formed by the natural bed ol the torrent. This chalky formation greatly resem- 
bled the plains ot Champagne ; numerous partridges were the only inhabitants oi 
these rocks, overgrown with plants, grasses, and hushes, and the hunters slaugh- 
tered them by the hundreds for the benefit oi the Swedish marmite, At each 
turning in the ravine we encountered herds, without any guardians, horses, and 
particularly superb mares and their foals. We would have been glad to buy one 
of these lovely animals but the difficulty was to find the proprietors, of whom we 
had not seen the slightest vestige. We had not seen them, but probably they 
could not say the same of us, lor from behind a rock the faithful shepherd is 
wont to spy upon the country and watch the travelers, i<> rob them when 
convenient ' These herds oi horses, which have an air ol being entirely aban- 
doned, are all numbered, and when one is wanting, the tribe to which Us 
proprietor belongs rises in its entirety to find and reclaim it, il need be, 1>\ fori 
of arms. The stealing of animals constitutes the perpetual occupation ol the 
country and keeps up the disagreeable relations between the tribes, who. of 
course, are forced to sleal again what has been taken Irom them. At our 
preceding station the Arabs had presented to us one ot their friends, a shepherd 
of the country and known as the most skillful thief 111 the w hole region. In their 
eves he was a greal personage, and they professed tor him the profound admi- 
ration they always entertain lor the author of a theft or skillfully executed 
surprise. One more day among the stones and chasms and we were going to 
study at our ease the most remarkable types of these worthies, and especially 
their merits apres nature, furnishing them with many involuntary tributes; all 
that was left ot our coffee and sugar, in fact all our most cherished supplies, were 
appropriated by them, and if we did not complain more bitterly, it was because 
we were thankful not to be gobbled up oursehes.' 

In a continual state of anxiety as to the intent ions of these marauders, 
who each day grew more impertinent and aggressive, sketching became a really 
dangi rOUS amusement, since one could scarcely have "one eye centered on the 
beauties of nature while the other kept watch on these crafty wretches." The 
master succeeded, however, in making various studies, one of which. Spring- 
time hi Arabia, represents a lioness rolling on a bank dotted with Sowers, that 
m their vivid coloring remind one of the Alpine Bora. Her male looks down 
from a neighboring height on the rock] plains oi Petraea, which resemble 
petrified billows, while the rising sun flecks with use the cloudlets that fly 
Ih lore the wind. 

Gerfime himself described to us one morning, 111 his atelier, a droll episode 
which occurred at this time. 

"I remember once [said he] we were camping in the forum at Petra, where 
the Arabs are brigands, veritable brigands. They stole everything they could 
see by day, and at night they would creep up so close to us, in hopes oi finding 



*00 /.//•/• AND WORKS <>/■ / / / .\ l£OA i,//,vi// 

something else thai they could carry oil, thai we could feel the tents shaking 
as they moved about, li is an astonishing fad that these miserable wretches 
are without any moral sentiment save that of modesty, which is developed to 
an extraordinary degree. So that when their nocturnal attentions became 
insupportable, we could always drive them ofl 1>\ sending one of our little band 

to confront them clad only in his 
boots! One night, Lenoir, poor 
Lenoir' was so exasperated at hav- 
ing his sleep disturbed, that in 
language more energetii than ele- 
gant, he called out to one of the 
intruders whose voice he recognized, 
bidding him begone! We were 
all convulsed to hear this Arab, 
whom we called Agamemnon, repeat 
like a parrot the last three words, 
w ith a perfecl accent, although he 
was entirely ignorant oi their 
meaning. 'Ibis tempted Lenoir to 
try another experiment. lie sat 
up in bed. and shouted ' /. ' '/' 
echoed the Arab. 'Am,' continued 
Lenoir. 'Am,' said Agamemnon. 
■./ scoundrel!' ' / scoundrel/' './ 
thief!' './ thief!' these self-accusing words re-echoing in the forum with 
marvelous distinctness to the intense delight oi our whole encampment." 

While relating this anecdote, Gerdme rose up and, with inimitable gesture 

aid tone, mimicked in turn Lenoir and his Arab in a manner worthy ot the 

Then followed oilu-r stone-., gaj and grave, ol artist 

friends who had passed awa) ot Fortuny, who painted lor two months, in this 

audio, on bis Spanish Ifarriag . oi Barye, whose chefs-d'oeuvre lie on 

every table and cabinet ill the ateliers, and who owed his election to the 

Institute largely to the warm affection and personal efforts ot Gerome. "For 

years the] allowed bun almost to die ot hunger!" said the master, flushing 

with generous indignation. " li was only after he was gone that Ins genius 

was fully recognized, and now they will pay any price for pieces cast by his 

own hand." 

Then he spoke of Baudry, also one of his intimates, whose talent he 
greatly admires and whose loss he deeply mourns ; and of Fromentin, one oi bis 
til at neighbors and good friends, of whom he said : "A remarkable man. a writer 
ol the first order, but. as a painter, he unfortunately lacked the advantage ot 
serious study in bis couth. No one realized this more keenly than he himself. 



THE MAEABOUT 

1889 



LIFE AND IVOBKS Of J I M \ Ml- 

One morning 1 came into his atelier and found him making a simple rudimentary 
study. 'Why are you doing that?' I asked. ' />> learn. 1 ' he replied frankly. 

Anil in that spirit lie worked lill the day of his death. lie was only fifty-five 
years old a very remarkable man!" 

Ami then he chatted "I his beloved pupils. <>i Bargue ami Aublet, "i 
Dagnan-Bouveret anil Courtois, ol those Americans, Bridgman, Stewart, 
Harrison, all ol whom have almost become Frenchmen! ami with especial 
interest ana affection <>i our own Abbott Thayer and De Foresl Brush. 

The following extracts from letters by well known American artists bear 
witness to their deep appreciation ol the exeeption.il qualities of their I I 
master and friend. 

Abbotl Thayer writes : 

"Tin- thoughl ol (ierome arouses first ol all. in an artist's heart, the senti- 
ment of truth-worship. Whatever the degree of appetite for his paintings, they 
must forever magnetize each fellow-artist by their stamp of a greal nature's 
austere fidelity ; and their purity in those respects, which was plainly his aim. 
destines them to last among a very lew to represent his epoch hereafter. As a 
man. he is so imposing that it may he dangerous to speak. When he came into 
the schoolroom, his presence hushed the crowd, even to the roughest Communist 
element, so that yon could always have heard a pin drop, save lor his Own serious 
■ lii i a homage emphasized by their different treatment of many other digni- 
taries. One oi my innermost longings will always be to get his approval of my 
work." 

Says Will H. Low : 

"Five months in the atelier of G6r6me is so shoii a tune that I have never 

presumed to call myself his pupil, hut. under the influence of so strong a nature, 
it is possible to receive in that brief period a distinct and abiding impression ol 
the man. His personal presence, alert, erect, and keen, is thai ol a soldier, and, 
amid his colleagues ot l.'Kcole iks Beaux-Arts, clad in then uniform "i dark- 
green, embroidered with silver palms, he appears a veteran surrounded l>\ con- 
scripts, flis art is tinctured with the like qualities, and against the invading 
armies ol modern realism he has stood \aliant soldier firmly at his post. And 
in the future, when the wheat is winnowed from the chaff, it can hardly be 
questioned that the typical reality which he has upheld will prevail againsl the 
accidental reality of the prolcmporai \ modernistes. One of these last Georges 
Rochegrosse exhibited al a late Salon a Death oj Ccesar where the assassins 
clambered over one another in then effort to reach the prostrate emperor, as 
beggars scramble for a penny pitched in the midst of them. Such a represen- 
tation, however possible or probable, can never supplant the dignified and simple 
tragedy portrayed by G£rome, any more than the Venus of Milo, with her typical 
beauty garnered from a thousand perfections, can be supplanted by a cast from 
nature ! " 



202 LIFE AND WORKS Of fEAN LEON G£r6ME 

J, Allien Weir writes : 

" It is with great pleasure thai I subscribe my profound respect and admi- 
ration for Gerome. I shall always consider it my good fortune to have had his 
counsel and advice just, severe, and appreciative. Differing greatly in the phase 

of art which I follow, vet I cannot but esteem him as one of the masters and 
most distinguished men oi his age." 

George de Foresl Brush says: 

As .1 teacher he is very dignified and apparently cold, but really most kind 
and soft-hearted, giving his foreign pupils every attention. In his teaching he 
avoids anything like recipes tor painting; he constantly points out truths ot 
nature, and teaches that art can l» attained only through increased perception 
and not by processes. But he pleads constantly with his pupils to understand 
that, although absolute fidelity to Nature must be ever in mind, yet it they do 
not at last make imitation serve expression, they will end as thej began— only 
children. There arc people who pass by Cieromc because he is not a 'colorist,' or 
because he does not paint lovable faces, or something which they would do if 
thej could paint! But these people do nol ;e< over him; they have no 
him. I believe he ts one of the greatest masters, not of modern times, but of all 
times, and that he will In' venerated more and more as we grow up to him." 

The master's admirers who have not the happiness of a personal acquaint- 
ance with him are legion, and he is the constant recipient oi letters and 
souvenirs testifying to the respect and affection of Ins unknown friends. In 
al cases a profound and touching friendship has thus sprung up. notably 
with the well-known artist and professor m the School of Design at Philadelphia, 
Stephen J. Ferris, to whose intense appreciation of (Jerome and enlightened 
"propaganda" the writer gratefully acknowledges her indebtedness tor her first 
glimpse ol the great artist, and the ineffable honor ot having been chosen to be 
his biographei 

But we must return to I'ctra and our artists there in cam]). On the day ot 
their final departure they were obliged to mass their forces and. with revolvers 
at full-cock, slowly retire across the boundaries beyond which these brigands 
did not venture to follow, Gerome and two oi the "best shots " closing up the 
md keeping oil this howling crew, who were only prevented from sur- 
rounding and massacring the entire parte by the imposing calmness ami 
strategic skill of the Colonel 

"On my return from this journey [Gerome writes in his private journal], 
I exhibited two very different pictures which caused me ill manner of annoy- 
ances: /.</ Mort de Marichal Ney and Golgotha Apropos ot the first one I 
was very near having a serious affair with the Prince de la Moskowa, son of the 
Marshal. The superintendent of the Beaux Ails begged me several times no1 to 



I III: AND WORKS Of // .l.\ lit'X G&ROMl 

exhibit this picture ; but 1 steadfastly refused to yield, for the sake of the prin- 
ciple involved, declaring to him that painters had as good a chum to write hi 
with their brushes as authors with their pens, which is inconti stable. B 
tin-- picture was onl) a statement oi a well-known fact, without comment of any 
hind. The Administration might put its veto upon it It did not do so, but 
chose a middle course the picture was hung in a corner. Ii wa none the less 
looked at, and started the tongues of the various political tactions to wagging. 
The Legitimists said, 'What a toady of the Imperial Government!' etc. The 
Bonapartists, ' What harm have we done him? Isn't he contented yet, when he- 
has just been made Office] oi th< Legion ol HonorP'etc. What do you think 
of these two ways oi speaking? It 1 had wished to displease the Legitimists, 

1 should have served the pur] ot thi Bonapartists, and vice versa/ 

" As to the subject "I tin second, there was greal asti.ni-.lim. nt because I had 
Only painted the shadows ot Christ and the thieves, thus running lull lilt at 
ancient and venerated traditions. It seems to me, however, that there was a 
certain poetry in this view ol Calvary, a new manner ol treating it. well within 
the domain ol painting; but my innovation was not to everybody's taste, and 
I was made to feel it keenly." 

Gautier writ 

[\he Death of Marshal Ney, exposed under the title of The jth of December, 
1815,9 o'clock '" M' c Morning, will certainly attract an unceasingly renewed crowd 
ot spectators. It is a historical picture, but not in the sense in which this word 
was formerly understood. In the first place, the canvas is as small as for a scene 
ot genre, and the subject is not drawn from the remote past ; it still palpitates and 
SO I" 3peak The artist has treated it in the modern historical manner. 
whicb traces things back to their origin, throws aside all vague phraseology, and 
seeks lor absolute reality id detail. With a terrible conciseness and gravity, 
more thrilling than a dramatic tnise en seine, M. Ge\ro\me depicts this lugubrious 

execution just as it must have Liken place. One would say. a proces-verbal 
painted by an eve-witness. A dirty wall, a common plastered wall, scribbled 

over with political inscriptions which I 11 mil contradict each other, and 

Studded with white stars by a vollev- ol balls, occupies diagonally nearly the 

whole length ol ih. pi( ture. It is scarcely daylight and this gray morning in the 
month of December shakes oil. as best it can. a night of fog. In the ancle ol 
the wall a street-lamp swings Us expiring yellow light, and we have a glimpse, 
in the shadow, of a picket of soldiers marching away with hurried Step, aln 
if fleeing. In the foreground, a black object, Battened against the ground, attracts 
the eye. restless in 1I1 pri Qi "t this sinister solitude; it is Marshal Ney, 
fallen forward like ill those whom the balls pierce to the heart, the lace turned a 
lnile to "He side, the body covered with the mantle, not so completely, however, 
but that mi. .hi ei the silk stockings and pumps, tor the bravest oi tin bi ivi 
had made a full toilette to go to his death; admirable COquetr} ol a hero! 
1] paci 1 a i\ lii In hat <> A/ Bolivar. This hat, in the fashion ol the time. 
produces the same tragic effect a th ho in the foreground oi the Barricadeoi 



'"I //// AND WOXK& Ol /,< 

Meissonier; this form, which would be absurd to-day, takes on a terrible gravity 
in its minute rendering. It dates the scene and mingles the bourgeois lilt- of the 
time with this sobei drama. On the muddy ground and the meager blades oi 
grass thai shool up al the fool ol the old walls, the turn papers oi several car- 
tridges are still smoking. In falling, the Marshal seems to have created around 
him solitude, abandonment, and terror ; everj body, in the shock and stupor con- 
sequent on the murder, lias Bed from the body thai bul now was living and which 
the bullets on so many battlefields had spared. According to history, the bod\ oi 
the Marshal remained alone ten or fifteen minutes; it seemed thai no one dared 
to return. It is this momenl thai M. Gerome has marvelously depicted. One 
shivers before his picture as il it were a reality. The painting is forgotten in the 
pectacle. Doubtless everything is rendered with the fine, precise touch which 
characterizes M. Ger6me. Butonedoes nol pay attention to it; the eye returns 
constantlj to the frightful black spot. Whether the impression produced is the 
resull "i the fai I itself or ol the art with which the painter has portrayed it, one 
thing is certain, that one cannot pass before The jth oj December, 18 '/y, withoul 
painful emotion ami oppression ol the heart.'' 

Scott, the eminent English critic, comments on this remarkable cam, 
follOW S : 

" Some artists, like some fashionable physicians, take the high places at the 
feasl l>\ qualities quite apart from their abilities. These, .such as many in our 
Royal Academy, ii the} live too long, have an unpleasant experience oi neglect 
and even derision in their old age. Others grow in honor the longer they live, 
and ot these is certainly Gerome, the Brsl living painter in all the world for 
power in reproducing ■> dramatic momenl on canvas. Unity ol sentiment ami 
color, it appears 10 me, is the crowning quality id several French painters. In 
our Burlington House Exhibition, jusl closed, Ger6me's Death of Marshal Ney 
was a notable example ol this. Idle bluish-gray, misty morning, with the street- 
lam]! burning down and dimly gleaming (the old oil-lamp that exhausted itseli 
in the dawn); the pallid wall inclosing the caserne, against which he was placed 
to receive the vollej : the black figure lying quite straight on the sordid ground . 
were the elements of the picture, and the sentiment was preserved in its 
integrity, the picture maintained as a true work of art by the colorless self- 
denial ol the painter, thai would not even let him accent the blood that was 
discoverable beginning to ooze from beneath the dishonored hero. This sim- 
plicity of color and propriety of color in relation to sentiment we find very 
obvious in the landscape-painters of the French school as compared to ours— 
in 1 nivnii, lor example and, among figure-painters, most admirably displayed 

in all the work "i 1 me The Death of Marshal Ney I have described 

because ii was before the English public so lately; but in his Gladiators— 
Ave Ccesar , Imperator ! morituri A' salutant! it was 110 less ably preserved." 

During the painting ot the Golgotha, otherwise known as Consummatum Est 
or Jerusalem, the critic of the London Athenaum wrote as follows : 



LIFE AND WORKS OF JEAN LEOA GERdMB. 207 

" M. Ccromc has recently been occupied in carrying oul a novel pictorial 
conception ol the Crttcifixion. 'Phis consists in rendering, with the utmost of 
his extraordinary power, the terror and pathos ol thai awful subject as thej were 

expressed in the features and actions Of the spectators, who, soon alter tin 
were assembled at the foot of the cross. The figures of Christ and his com- 
p inions in suffering arc represented in the picture by shadows that fall before the 
spectators. The city of Jerusalem is shown in the background of the picture." 

Gautier devoted to this impressivi i long column in his Salon review. 

I le saj s 

" It is customar] to begin a critique of the Salon by general reflections upon 
art. more or less eloquent, but ordinarily gloomy, from which it would appear 
thai we are in a state ol absolute decadence and that our best artists would he 
scarcely worthy to mix the colors in the atelier of one of the old masters. We do 
not share this opinion and we have a decided esteem tor this poor nineteenth 
century, so much despised, hut which will, however, he on< day ranked among 
the most glorious ami precious epochs. In these jeremiads, one forgets thai an 
exposition is not a museum, and that, in former limes also, there was a great 
deal "i bad painting which has not been preserved for us. Ii would he un- 

mahle to exact that the labor of a year should equal the productions of all 
schools during several centuries, and yet this is almost demanded by those who 
compare the che/s-d'eeuvre of Italy, Flanders, and Spain with the canvases which 
our contemporary painters bring at a certain time to the halls of the Palais de 
l' Industrie. So then, without entering into these idle discussions, we shall at 
once attack - our subject and speak of the paintings which seem to us the most 
remarkable. We shall pass them in review as they present themselves, and shall 
not attempt to arrange them in impossible classifications now. when all styles 
seem to leave their special limits and tend toward a general blending. 

"It is a singular composition, the picture which M. Ceronie entitles 
Jerusalem, the view of which is taken from Calvary. The artist has chosen a 
moment neglected by the painters who have so often reproduced the greal drama 
of the Passion. This work, to speak truly, is more picturesque than religious, 
and, besides, it does not exceed the dimensions of an easel-picture ; a wise limit, 
in a time when the habitations of men resemble the cells ot a honeycomb, and 
when grand proportions should only be employed lor the mural paintings oi 
churches and palaces. The tragedy is consummated ; the executioners, the 
Roman soldiers, and the curious crowd that is always attracted bv a spectacle of 

punishment, are returning to the city. In the foreground of the picture formed 
by the summit of Calvary, in the wan light of an eclipse, three strange, mournful 

shadows stretch out over tin chalky ground. What are these trees of death 
with their ghastly burdens, Which projed these black silhouettes' The three 
gibbets, placed by the artist outside of the picture into which their shadow tails. 

We can recognize the cross of the impenitent thief by his more convulsed profile. 
This manner ot indicating the invisible gallows shows an original and striking 









208 /./// WD WORKS Of // M //,>\ i, //,,-i// 

ol invention. The shadow of the torture is more frightful than the 
torture itself; but perhaps the idea is too ingeniously literary foi a painter! 
Man) another artist would have simply painted Christ between the two thieves, 
with all possible care, representing the crosses from the rear in order to conform 
to the poinl oi view ; bu1 then, it would only have been a ( alvary like all the 

others' In subjects treated ill so SUperioi i in. inner, it is alter all thoroughly 

permissible to seek foi something new, 
aho\ e all when the wot k has not an 
i pecially religious destination. 

"The rest of the composition 
spreads downward from this plateau of 
Calvary, like a panorama around the 
platform on which the spectator stands, 
The Roman cavaliers, who follow the 
winding road and half turn upon linn 
hordes to point to the cross ol the 
Christ, have a positively superb /<>«/-- 
nure, and. in spite of their smallness, 
are ot the most beautiful .antique style ; 
they well represenl the Roman power 
in judea. .and by their calmness pro- 
test against the old Jewish fanaticism. 
The death Ol this just man, whom they 
would gladly have spared, has pro- 
foundly moved them ; the wonders that 

follow his death amaze them. In truth. 

the sun is eclipsed ami a livid twilight 

envelops the land. On the summit ami 

sides ot the hill on which it is built lies 

Jerusalem, with its ramparts, its towers. 

its e,atcs. its dwellings, and its massive 

temple, which dominates the other 

edifices. Against the reddish and misty 

background of the sky. it stands out in a \a^ue sulphureous glow : seme olive 

trees with pale foliage ate touched by a bluish-green light, and in the valley, 

like a black serpent, winds the already distant procession. The effect ot this 

composition is Strange and bewilders the judgment. One scarcely knows m 

what category to place it. for the figures and the landscape are oi equal 

importance. It will best come under the head of 'picturesque histo 

'. niiiie also drew upon his Oriental portfolios for another cam, is which he 
finished this year. M assort describes it. and one of similar theme, in an article 
written tot I ,s Lettres et les Arts. 

" General Bonaparte <// ( airo and Gem ral Bonaparte in Egypt, like the CEdi- 

pUS, &Tt excellent historical pictures. In the first, Bonaparte, mounted on an \i.ii> 



LIFE AND WORKS 01 II M LEOA GEROML 

horse, regards the immense city extended at his feet. The meditative features 
are outlined on the pale azure of the sky sin i, hing over the warm undulations 
of the Mogattam in the distance. Below the citadel, the Muezzins are calling 
the faithful to praj er, and the minarel of the grand Mosque pierces the heavens. 
In the canvas entitled General Bonaparte m Egypt, the simoon blows upon 
the army on its march in the desert; perched upon a white camel, who i 
neck is stretched oul desperately under the hoi breath ol the wind, the Gen- 
eral appears de face, his meager, yellow countenance framed by long black 
hair. The coat, buttoned up, makes a somber Bpol accentuated by the white 
leather breeches and the yellow-topped boots. The body erect, the greal 
li.it posed as if in battle array, he moves on, correct in his severe uniform, 
while behind him, succumbing to the heat and the burning sand which blinds 
them, the officers oi his staff, whose dromedaries vainly seek for sunn- luii of 
moist herbage, abandon themselves to weary postures. Near the General, a 
Turk on foot, and several Arab horsemen in their striking cost nines; in the back- 
ground, the army slowly defiling. Never has any one more truly rendered the 
golden misl raised by the khamsinn ; nevei has an} one thus perfectly expressed 
the frightful lassitude which takes possession of the besl trained men save those 
who have compelled the body to l>e the docile slave oi the mind, Whal is 
remarkable in this picture is. that the thought one reads upon this emai iated face 
is evidently far from the desert. It has left the body and. while the eyes fixedly 
regard the horizon.it goes on crossing rivers, climbing mountains, traversing 
Bonaparte is no longer on the road to Syria he is on the way to India! 
lie hesitates between these two halves of the world which he holds in his hands . 
he ponders upon the tale ol Alexander and ol (Acsar ; he asks himself it Asia, oi 
which he holds the key. is worth this Europe from whence he comes ; and. uncon- 
scious ol suffering, his dream embraces the universe! It is a bit of historj that 
the author of the Ige oj lugustus has painted for us here, plainly showing, as in 
many other celebrated pictures, the philosophical power ol his mind." 

IK- has also given another view ol Bonaparte on the heights abovi Cairo, 
which is hut little known and which does not equal m power the two just 
described. 

Ai tlu Salon oi 1869 he exhibited only two pictures and a pencil sketch, in 
which, as Gautier sa 

"He again reproduced the sculptural form and grand style ol those races 
which civilization as yet has not changed, which are like medals that have pre- 
served the clear imprint of the primitive stamp. The Strolling Merchant 0/ 
Cairo, at this Salon, maintains a rare majesty while selling Ins bric-a-brac; one 
could easily use him as a patriarch, Abraham or Jacob, in a biblical picture. 
Tlie Promenade of the Harem shows us a caique living swiftly along the Nile 
under the united efforts of ten oarsmen ; in a cabin on deck is a group ol 
mysterious beauties, half visible behind the curtains ; and. crouching m the 
stern, a musician chants to the accompaniment of his guela om ol those nasal 



2io ///•/■ l\/> WORKS (>/■ // m t/i>\ g£r6mi 

songs that possess so keen a charm for barbarous ears, and which we confess 
Ives fond of, even should this frank avowal arouse the contempl oi our 
musicians. The boat slips over the clear transparent water along the mist) 
shon . in a sorl ol luminous fog which produces a magical effect. The hark 
to float .11 the same time in the water and in the air. 'These effects, which appear 
almost impossible to eyes thai are not accustomed to the lender tones of the 'land 
of light,' are rendered by M. Ger6me with absolute fidelity. An admirable 
pencil-sketch, which belongs to the Baron <le Boissieu, represents a peasant from 
the region oi the Danube, doubtless a souvenir o) the artist's Brsl journey." 

The disasters ol the years 1870 ;i. and then mournful effects on artist circles 
and life in Paris, have left so indelible a souvenir that we need not dwell upon 
them. Gerdme bad removed Ins family to Ins villa in Bougival, and. like all 
his countrymen, lull ol confidence as to the ultimate result of the struggle, he 
endeavored to continue bis quiet routine oi work in his summei atelier. The 
unexpected and rapid approach oi the hostile forces compelled him to make 

.1 hasty retreat. tierome hurried to place Ills wile and little ones 111 safety in 

England, and started hack, intending to share the fate oi his comrades in the 
defense of Paris. But the beautiful city was already encircled by an impregnable 
cordon oi vigilant foes, and he was finally obliged to return to London, an invol- 
imt,ii\ .md unhappy exile lie accepted the hospitalit} oi an English studio, 
and endeavored to utilize the time of his enforced sojourn in a strange land. He 
found many devoted friends there, and under other circumstances would have 
thoroughlj enjoyed bis Stay. lie often recurs with emotion to those days when. 
although unable to speak a word oi English, he learned to know and appreciate 
the warmth oi English hearts. Hut griei for the irreparable misfortunes oi 
France, anxiety for the future, and the difference in climate, told unfavorablj 
upon him. One of his distractions may be interred from the following extract 
from a letter written by him some years later in reply to some questions. It 
touches several points oi interest : 

■Leon G was one oi m\ pupils, he painted my portrait (very badly !). 

It was exhibited, but achieved no success, which was just. As to my />//.s7. that 
is another affair. It was executed b] Carpeaux in the yearof the war. I was at 
London. Carpeaux also ; he proposed to model my bust ; 1 naturally accepted, 
as he was a sculptor n\ great talent. This bust is a ekef-d'eeuvre and artists buy 
it, not. you understand, in order to have mv effigy, hut because it is a most 
remarkable work of art. I will show it to you when you come, which I hope 
will be soon. / did not reproduce the Phryne in sculpture; it was Falguiere, 
who. by the order of the Maison Goupil, modeled this little figure after my 
picture and mv studies. The two little statuettes representing the Danse </// 
Ventre and the Danse </>/ Sabre are by Mercie, both after my pictures, and 
ordered by tlu Maisi in * ioupil 



/.//■/■/ WD WORKS (>/■ Jl I \ L&ON G&RdME z\\ 

A.s these exquisite figurines have been ascribed in several biographical 
sketches to Ger6me, ii is satisfactory ii> hear the master himself ^ r i\r "honor to 
whom honor is due." Apropos <>i Carpeaux's work, Timbal says: 

" Carpeaux excelled in the bust; he gave ii life; the eyes ol li i ^ figures 

sparkled with a brilliancy which till now it seemed thai painting alone could imi 
tate. And then, this son of a workingman had an aristocratic talent, and. under 
a rough exterior strange contrast with which Nature sometimes amuse- hei 
--ell a fineness ol intuition which revealed the gentleman in art. lie knew how 
to place a beautiful head on shoulders royally modeled by nature, and to lei 
wavy tresses tall naturally upon the velvel 01 ermine ol a state-portrait. The 

beautiful busl of Madame la I'nnccsse Mathilde soon made t'arpcaux I lie sculptor 
in ordinary to the Imperial family. The full-length statue ol the young Prince, 
accompanied by his celebrated dog Nero, consecrated before the eyes ol the 
public this title which he did not bear, hut whose office he tilled. What has 
become <d' this charming work, not more fragile than the good fortune of him 
who had commanded it? Poor artists ol France, who imagined they were 
working tor history, dogged in the shadow by the pitrole of social progress! 
Among the busts which will perhaps escape the spiteful conspiracies ol the 
future. We hope at least that ol (ierome will find a favored place. None will 
allot,! a more perfect specimen of the manner of Carpcaiix. It is an instantane- 
ous sketch which, with two strokes ,,l the chisel, has caught the fleeting mo- 
ment ol a happy expression ; a rare good fortune, the force ol which has not been 
weakened by alter Study and labor ol perfection." 

Maxime Da Camp also writes: "Life circulates under these thoughtful 

features, the glance darts two lightning-flashes ol intelligence and will. This 
head is cast in one's memory as it is m the bronze." 

In November, 1870, several small pictures appeared at an exhibition ol 

English art and were chronicled in the London . / tln-iuvitm. 

"We may turn now to examine and laud the elaborate and learned work ol 
M. (ierome. which is styled ' / Basht Bazouk.' Il is a half-length figure of a 
negro warrior. ( >n his head a high and twisted turban with pendants, on his 
body a superbly painted robe ol deep red-rose color, which, having a sheeny 
surface, reflects th< light, melts its glowing tints in the shadows, and flushes 
strongly in the intermediate folds. Thus this work is more potent in color than 
usual ; it is not. however, less solidly and finely modeled. A still more interest- 
ing picture is the Pifferari, two Neapolitan men and a boy standing in a very 
inhospitable-looking street, during frosty weather. The house to which the noise 
ot their bat/pipes is directed is thoroughly unsympathetic, although probably 
musical. Recently painted, this picture looks dull and tlat. so that most ot its 
subtle wealth ol color is lost lor the while, bill enough is visible in parts ol the 
Whole to show how Strong and beautiful much ol the rest must be. The laces 
are lull of Striking and suitable expression ; the drawing is worthy ol the artist. 



2 12 LIFE t\P WORKS, Of II \N l&OA G&RdMi. 

which is all we need say. The drapery shows science and learned thought, and 
a profound sense of the obligation to be truthful. With these qualities the result 
stands solid, rich, sound ; an artist's work such as, when we have been looking 
at the series oi pot -hoilers to w Inch we have above referred (productions though 
the} are ol two Oi our most successful and able painters), is certain to give the 
English critic unpleasant notions oi how much better it might be lor art among 
us if the example ol M. < r< rome were all-powerful, lie stays among us lor a 
little while and should receive that homage which is due to his honored, honor- 
able, and rare power in art. In no better way can he be welcomed than bv 
observing his line example." 

In April. 1871, appeared another small canvas, entitled ./// Eastern Girl, 
which was immediately acquired by the Duke of Wellington. The Athenceum 
calls attention to the "superb flesh painting, perfeci modeling, and intensity oi 
expression" as being difficult to surpass. 

In replj to a letter regarding the Pifferari, received main years later, ticronie 

writes as follows : 

" Dear Sir . When I arrived in London the year of the war. with my wife 
and children. I had neither brushes, canvas, colors, nor costumes. I soon made 
the necessary acquisitions, and as I found some Italians near at hand, I hastened 
lo profit by this in employing them as models. I recoiled the picture, but it 
would be difficult to estimate its lull value considering the time that has elapsed, 
but i remember that it had much success at Mr. Wallis's exhibition in Pall Mall. 
I know that I painted it carefully and worked on it sufficiently to finish it 
properly, so I may say. without fear of mistake, that the work is respectable, 
worthy of me. and worthy of figuring in any serious collection of works of art." 

The thud picture represented a corner of the arena at a bull-fight, where the 

Picador, from whom the canvas takes its title, sits motionless upon his horse. 
resolute, keen, alert, firmly grasping his long lance, ready at any instant lo repel 
the attack of the infuriated animal, who has inst succeeded in unhorsing one of 
his comrades. The skillful matadors on the opposite side of the arena have 
momentarily drawn off the attention of the bull, and afforded the unlucky 
horseman the necessary opportunity to limp to the gate which opens tor his 
retreal behind the scenes. Bach fact in the crowd ol onlookers is a study, and 
the coloring truly Spanish in its warm tones The Athenceum also records at 
the London Exhibition of [87a two canvases drawn from his inexhaustible store 
ol ( )i leiltal sketches : 

" M. t'.erome's pictures will attract all visitors. The first of these is a Street 

Scene in (\nro. There we have architecture in sunlight and shadow ; booths and 
shops; a lone, vista ol broken pavement; halt a score of dogs dozing ; deep 
shadows in the recesses. The chief human figures are two superbly armed and 



BATHSHEBA 

1889 



/.//■/• AND WORKS OF // l\ LEOA .,7 



2"3 



mounted Arabs in conference with a merchant, who hands to one oi them a 

bottle Of cool water; the third Aval) leans up againsl a bulk ; a tall woman, clad 
in dark blue and veiled from head to loot in black, bears mi In ■ bip I basket tilled 
with oranges like globes of gold; astride her shoulder (his flesh making 
delicious 'color' with her blue robe) sits a lively and entirely naked boy ; she 

grasps his ankle and makes nothing of her double load. This is a charm- 
ing group, exhibiting sonic 
of the noblest qualities of 
M. ( Jerome's art. Before the 
mother trots an older boy. 
who is naked but for a green 
veil Streaming from his head ; 
he carries a fresh branch of 
palm. Clad in light blue and 
walking behind the last goes 
a tall negress, bearing a 
greal water-jar on her head. 
Beyond these, two women, 
muffled in white from head In 
foot, are bargaining with the 
ou ner oi a booth . met 
chaffering just on the verge 
of the gloom which obscures 
more than half the interior 
ii i aearei shop. The bo) 
donkey-driver and his beast 
have brought to the door of a 
private house a visitor, who 
is reconnoitered from an 
upper window by •> servant. 
It is a precious example ol 

delicate and elaborate workmanship. Its careful drawing will be enjoyed by all 
lovers of form, who will also like its sound and profoundly studied modeling, 
which is everywhere observable in the rendering of textures, light, and shade.' 

TbisHueau Caire was one oi the famous twelve seen at the Universal Expo 
sition of 1878. Paul Lenoir, strolling day after 'lay with Gerome through these 
fascinating streets, and with him stopping to note all the peculiarities ol life in 
this typical Eastern city, thus records their impressions: 

"Cairo is more the capital of Egypt than Paris is ol France, tor the good rea- 
son that Paris is only a city, and Cairo is in itsell a whole province. linked it is 
more than a province, it is a world; it is all the Orient, past, present and lo , nil, 

omplete as at the time oi the Mamelukes, as brilliant as at its zenith, as 

picturesque as it was under the caliphs. To think that one could see everything, 










c_>-*-t 



214 '"I WD WORKS Of _// IX I EO.X G&RdMl 

study everything, during a three years' residence there, would be a great mistake. 
Our impressions and notes then can only be the thousandtb part of the notes ;m<l 
impressions unrecorded. So mucb premised, 'Yallaht Yallahf' and forward! 
The Mouski is an admirable type oi the mosl animated and brilliant strei I oi 
Cairo This immense avenue offers a rdsu ///,'• ol all thai is picturesque and strik- 
ing in the busy city life "l the East. An endless row ol shops, crowded witb 
goods, most extraordinary in their variety and profusion, cafes, hairdressers, 
butchers, antiquaries, shoemakers, and kitchens in the open aii cadi follows 
the other in mosl unexpected succession borrowing from their incongruous 
neighborhood a new cachet oi oddity. Everywhere one sees open chests and 

boxes, hall capsized in the street to attract customers. To make the amateur 
walk over the merchandise, in order to force him to pick up some article, is the 
admirable industrial problem successfull) solved 1>\ the greatei proportion of 

these thousand and one Ali-Babas. From the old Jew in spectacles, w ho wails to 

be implored before he will disturb Ins bits oi antiquities, hidden away in myste- 
rious little coffers, to the shoemaker ol the sheikhs for whom the congress 
is the last achievement ol civilization all seem to he serving in a kind of priest- 
hood. One does not hear the fatiguing and impertinenl harangued small shop- 
keepers; a most religious stillness presides over all purchases, all transactions in 
the street. The zeal of our 'counter-jumpers' in Prance, the gesticulations and 
dissertations with which you ar< pursued as long as you are within sight, ap 
ol a meter of grenadine or calico, would be considered here a mosl shocking 
breach ol good taste: it is almost the holy silence ol the mosque that reigns 
among the shelves and counters ol the Mouski. Do you want to buy a kouffie? 
\ou hold the object in one hand and your money in the other, according to the 
value placed on il l>\ your dragoman, unless sufficiently skillful to make your 
ins for yourself. After having offered on an average the halt of the 
price asked tor an article, you retire with the calmness ol a man who knows the 
value ol the thing he wishes to buy. .ind you do not insist ; the merchant recalls 
you b\ .in almost imperceptible sign ; he consents to displace his pipe, accepts \ our 
money and tosses you the goods with the plaintive sigh ol a woman robbed ol her 

child' Il your proposals are unacceptable, the tradesman manifests his bitter 

sorrow by Smackings of the tongue which recall the experiments of an amateur ill 
wine-. And. with tears m Ins \ nice, he pushes back his merchandise, cursing, as 
if you had beaten him. ' /.</. la, la. mafic h .' ' he murmurs between his teeth and 
his pipe for the chibouk or the narghileh is the indispensable accessor} oi 
self-respecting Cairo merchant. The stuffs of the country, with their changing 
colors, pearly reflections, and marvelous embroideries, necessarily attract our 
attention, and we would still be in those shops had our desire to explore the city 
not gol the upper hand of our admiration of yellow silk ' Later, becoming more 
expert, we used to buy, almost at full gallop, several of those silky foulards called 
kouffies, that the Egyptians use as headdresses. Yellow, striped with green and 
red, or yellow upon yellow, embroidered with floss in the same tones, these stulls 

shine in the sun m an astonishing manner. Imperceptible threads of gold or sil- 
ver, artistically mixed in the texture, produce a brilliant metallic effect. One of 



////■ IX/i WORKS Of II l\ ll.i>\ t,!i;o.\ll 215 

the most striking features ol this street-life is the peculiarity ol the noises. The 
absence oi paving and consequent rumbling oi vehicles, the < 1 1 1 1 1 sound made 
by the loot falls of the dromedaries on the hard ground, all this gives a mysterious 
and almosl religious character to the spectacle which absorbs us. The cry ol the 
donkey-boys, sharp and clear, the music ol the cafi, the neighing ol the asses, the 
snort of the dromedaries, furnish the substance ol the orchestra thai accompan- 
ies tins perpetual representation . for the Arab walks silently through the street, 

the merchants only cry their wares in special bazaars, and almosl the onlj 

who avail themselves of this privilege are the strolling old-clothes-men and the 
auctioneers ol cast-ofl garments. The methodic ^.m oi each individual 
tuates still more this mysterious effect. The donkey-drivers run in a kind 
hi short trot favorable to respiration ; the donkeys are on the trol or very 
often a lull gallop; the horses generally walk al a slow pace, as il<> the camels 

and the dromedaries, since il would seem to derogate from their dignit) were 

the] i" increase the already frightful swaying ol the enormous burdens 
they carry." 

One day. in passing under an archway, they caught a glimpse ol a group thai 
Cierome immedialclv transferred In his canvas, and which appeared at this same 
exhibition under the title ol / Discussion. The A thenceum <c;i\csa brief outline 

ol it : 

\ gaunt, sun-dried old Nubian camel-driver, clad in white, and girt with a 

rude sword, grasps the halter ol his patient Waiting beasl and. because he is irate 
I other modes ol expression, dashes his goad on the stones ol the street. 
I le j^rins like an angry tiger because two Cairene men, one ol w liom is a descend- 
ant of the Prophet, have, as he thinks, tried to cheat him. They remonstrate 
with different and marvelously expressive action, and all three seem to be speak- 
ing at once. Through the archway we have a glimpse of a narrow street, with 
veiled figures lingering in the shade ol balconies and windows and far-off sun- 
light. The camel, like the human figures, is admirably drawn ; the tunes ol the 
picture are richer than usual, and the effect is more than commonly happy." 

Gerome did not exhibit again till 1-S74. the interval being occupied in 
traveling and sketching. He went with Fromentin to Egypt, with Gustave 
Boulanger to Spain and Africa, and back to Egypl with several friends, among 
whom were his dear pupils Paul Lenoir and Jules Stewart. It was on this last 
journey that the ill-fated Lenoir was suddenly seized with a chill while sketching 
in the environs of Cairo. In spite of Heroine's earnest entreaties, he lav down in 
the warm sand and fell asleep. This was the beginning ol an illness thai proved 
fatal, and he was interred al Cairo 

The Salon ol 1874 was a memorable one. the master receiving the Grand 
Medal of Honor for the second time, the first being in [867, in which year he was 
also promoted to the rank ol Officer ol the Legion ol Honor. Says Bergerat : 



2i6 /.//■/• l\/i WORKS Of // l.\ I LO\ cr.KOMh. 

••Since this epoch, which ended for him the militant portion of his artistic 
life, Gerdme has enjoyed the tranquil exercise of a talent sure of itself, masterly 
and undisputed. With Baudry and Meissonier he marches at the head oi the 
French School, and Ins last expositions have assured him veritable triumphs. 
Thus in i s 7 1 he obtained for a second time that medal of honor which an artist 
1 1 1 . i \ consider himself happy to have merited once in his life. He had senl to the 
Salon three canvases, equally remarkable, and which displayed three different 
aspects ol his talent. I wrote as follows in the Journal Officiel of L'£minence 
Grise, the most popular ol the three ' No one is ignorant thai the chid person- 
age in this scene is that famous Father Joseph, whose occult power, the shadow 
nl the Cardinal's, inclined the haughtiest ol heads at the court. With his eyes 
fixed upon his breviary, he slowly descends a monumental staircase; a motley 
train oi courtiers, bowing to the earth, presses close to the balustrade to give trim 
room. Their sparkling costumes contrast with the capuchin's frock, girt with a 
cord from winch hangs a rosary. It is in tins contrast that M. Ger6me has 
sought to point the satire against the life of the court which he wished to 
indicate. It is indeed biting, and the Cardinal, who. on the upper step, turns to 
dart a furious glance at the humble monk whom he has jusl obsequiously saluted, 
is an irresistible conception What has most evidently tempted. M. Ger6me in 
tins subject is the occasion thai he finds to paint all the hacks of these courtiers, 
ami to show all these profiles succeeding each other in the same expression ol 
smiling servility. The curvature oi the spine, in all its degrees of flatness, this 
has been Ins study. Ins pictorial motif, lie has assembled all the phases which 
the disposition and temperament of each individual could give to these hacks 
bent in salutation ; he has graded their diverse silhouettes, and. covering the 
whole with satins, velvets, and laces of all shades, he has written a grand scene 
oi high comedy, verj human, verj real, and very ironical. It is a masterpiece, 
not as a historical picture, but as a perfect anecdote, where one can find no 
faults, hut where there is almost everything to admire.'" 

Masson refers to it as "that marvelous picture, so full ol purpose and 
acuteness, ol color and life, where Father Joseph, in Ins voluntarj poverty and 
monkish simplicity, is so skillfully opposed to this gilded, iridescent, sparkling 
court." And the London AtheWSUtn says "the characterization is perfect, the 
figures are triumphs of design, and the picture is, as i whole, the best of Cicrome's 
late productions." But we might multiply indefinitely the laudatory criticisms 
of this well-known picture. Let us pass to the second, of which the Athenaeum 
writer : 

"We come to the chief attractions ol the Salon when we pause befor 
M. Gerdme's pictures. Rex Tibicen makes every one smile. All must admire the 
intensity ol the design and the humor oi the artist, who has shown King 

Frederick ol Prussia in Ins cabinet, working away at a Bute, lor the love of which 
he has thrown aside fatigue a.> well as business. He stands with hent knees 




ANACREON (SCULPTURE). 



/.//■'/•; AND WORKS OF JEAN I /■ MB. 219 

an escritoire on which he has propped up the music-sheet, and, clutching 
the magic tube with the finger-tips oi both hands, he sets his meager lips to the 
orifice to produce, one would imagine, harsh, unmelodious music, for he will 
blow, it seems, too hard, and his lean checks try to compel the sweetness they 
cannot utter; as it is, up go his eyebrows, and the eyeballs are uncovered in his 
eagerness, while the cue of his wig quaintlj rises on the stifl collar of Ins coat, 
So thirsty for melody is the sold ot the kin^ that lie has not stayed to take oft 
his dirt) boots! Just returned from hunting, he has stepped into the > 
followed by the dogs, whose muddy feel have left marks on the polished Boor 
and rich carpets ; but before each weary animal can throw himself down to rest, 
one in the king's own chair, the others on the ground, Frederick has torn open, 
read, and crumpled up the dispatches thai waited his coming, cast them on the 
md grasped the intractable instrument. What will Mr. Carlyle, whose 
soul enters not with zest into the enjoymenl of such frivolity as Bute-music, say 
to M. t'icrome for thus making fun of his model conqueror? Above the desk is 
perched a bust of the sarcastic Voltaire ' The ridicule of the picture is not the 
less pungent because it is keen enough to penetrate the thickest skin without 
o i \- i n •_; an excuse lor blustering. The irritable captor ol Silesia himself could 
hardly have made this jesl an excuse tor war. As a design it is perfecl 

satire, one ol the best modern examples." 

" In [875 this same picture was exhibited in London." says the lit Journal . 

her with Corot's Souvenir d'Arleux i/u Nord. A grand gold medal was to 

be given, and the votes were equally divided between Corot and t'icrome sii 

;sive linns; ultimately, by the casting vote ot the President, it fell to 

G6r< ime." 

The third incline was the famous Collaboration, where (icronie. who adores 
Moliere, shows us the young playwright in close confab with the ven 
Corneille. This is one ol his choicest canvases in this genre, remarkable tor 
quiet thought and concentration, masterly drawing and harmonious color. 

In the London Art Journal of 1*75. we find the following article, entitled 
"The French Gallery in Pall Mall." 

"The present generation of untraveled Englishmen owes more perhaps ot 

its art culture, in a large and catholic sense, to who [1 has learned on the walls 
oi the French Gallery, than to almosl any other London exhibition that could be 
1 Tin- Royal Academy and other kindred institutions do noble educa 
tional service and keep up annually th( national interest in art; but while 
ling us in a hundred pleasant parables that 'man does not live by bread 
alone,' their tone is api to b come monotonous, their stories twice-told tales, and 
Hi' fare -■ 1 before us runs thus the risk of losing its savor from the simple fact oi 
its sameness. Much has been done, however, to improve all this lately ; but when 
the French Gallery was first opened, our native exhibitions seemed to strive 
unwittingly quite as much alter perpetuating our insularity as disseminat ing art ' 



--'" LIFE AND WORKS OF II i\ / / > > \ G&RdM& 

What the French Gallery began, the Internationa] Exhibition of r 862 completed, 
and ever since, London, as a home of the Fine Arts, is perhaps the most liberal 
citj in Europe. It is then with peculiar satisfaction that we call the attention ol 
our readers to the twent} -second annual exhibition of Continental pictures at the 
French Gallery. . . . But, after all, the picture of the exhibition in the Danse 
duSabn ol Ger6me. The head of the girl posturing so lithely before the ureal 

man and Ins guests, who are seated in an 
alcove, is veiled in green gauze, her bosom 
is covered with gold pieces and the upper 
pari oi hei figure is enveloped in diaphanous 
white; around the lowei portion is bound a 
thick blue garment, yellow-edged, and be- 
neath ii peeps a petticoal of black. In her 
righl hand she holds a naked scimiter and 
balances another on her head, and all to the 
music oi those seated in the half-shadowed 
recess behind. The scene is in a sense 
barbaric, but by no means unpleasing, and 
iierome. by his masterly details, the cunning 
way in which he throws, the light on them. 
and the evenness which, by beautiful, har- 
monious lines and changes and counter- 
changes ol color, he gives to the whole 

Composition, simply spirits us away Willi 

him, and reveals to us a scene which has all 

the reality of concrete tact. It is too late in 

the day, even it our space permitted, to affect 

detailed criticism of a man ol Gerflme's 

stani]i ; suffice it to say. the picture is as 

complete an example of the master as we 

have evei seen, and that the hair thousand 

guineas lor which it was commissioned have received at his hands ample 

justice and consideration. The artist has given another and simpler aspect 

ol the same theme in the Saber Dance in a Ca/4, which possesses, however, 

the same inimitable qualities as the more elaborate canvas." 

There were but two pictures at the Salon of 1876, ./ San ton, begging at the 
door ol ,1 mosque, and Turkish Women ul the Hath, both ol which were re- 
exhibited at the Universal Exposition of 1878. The first represents one of those 
religious fanatics so graphically described in the Procession of the Carpet ; the 
second is vastly more attractive. The same strength and delicac} ol treatment, 
so often commented on. is noticeable in this scene at a public bath, where a ureal 
varietj Ol postures, always graceful and natural, displays the artist's unrivaled 
powers as a draughtsman. The imperious beauty sitting on the warm-toned 



LIFE AND WORKS OF //./A //u>\ <;/ ,. 221 

carpel seems inclined to chide her swarthy attendant; ami the ebon-hued damsel, 
in her turn, vigorously protests as she clutches the narghilehs, which perhaps 
have made too tardy an appearance. The low-browed, fair-skinned daughtei "i 
the Orient, reclining indolently upon the warm marble step "i ■> fountain to the 
right, has jusl fastened a bracelel on her arm and is toying with some jewels as 
she listens languidly to the discussion. In th round, which is lighted by 

floods oi sunshine, are other bathers indifferent stages oi their ablutions. There 

neral impression of well-being and comfort, whicb is the invariable resull 
n! these elaborate baths with their accompaniment oi hot ami i old douches, brisk 
rubbings and skillful massage, followed bj a delicious Biesta from which one 
rouses to enjoy the crowning delight "i the agreeable programme a cup ot 
steaming amber-colored Mocha, ami an occasional whiii oi perfumed tob 
In coloring ami grouping, this is a charming canvas. 

The Universal Exposition of 1878 marked one ol the most noteworthy epochs 
in the life ot this great master. In an eloquent pa ites, "It was at 

the close ot the Salon ot 1 S 74 that M. tlerbme obtained foi the second time the 
Grand Medal ot Honor; it was indeed the hour ot his supreme sway. Gerdme 
iftj years old, and he seemed lo have arrived at the zenith oi his renown. 
But not yet ; since then, he lias reserved foi those who loved best his rare talent, 
new surprises, and 11 was thus 1 hat, besides admiring his inclines, the world 

Med at the Universal Exposition ot 1878 saluted him as Sculptor 1 ' Yes' 
this same hand, which used the brush with such delicacy, had molded the clay 
par grande masse, and aside from his numerous and most interesting paintings, 
perfectly finished, masterly in their exquisite beauty, and always supreme, 
il lo the public a superb group tins 1 omhul <>/ Gladi- 
ators which, Willi lis powerful and virile composition, commanded universal 
admiration. It is at once the work of a savant and an artist.'' And indeed, 
even those who divine. 1 lo a certain degree Heroine's vast reserve power were 
astonished and confounded. That a painter should be tempted b\ the more 
art is not surprising, and we have on record several who have achieved 

- in both specialties. But that a first attempt should prove him the pi 

who had spent a lib I um lo acquire their re] nit at ion this was startling, and 
Utterly overthrew the theories ol a taction which exists everywhere, vvln.s, 

to be. "Thus far and no farther''' and their aim, to restrain and limit the 
manifi tatioc oi genius. Dubosc de Pesquidoux, in his " \rt ot the Nineteenth 
( ■ niiirv." a review ot the Universal Exposition of 1878, writes : 

" We find in this first series the remarkable work of a new athlete who, from 

man} points oi view, belongs in the pleiad 1 havi just reviewed. M. GerOme, 

no doubt oi in.' sculptors invade the domain of painting, has wished, 

like M. I ton', to take a painter's revengi in the realm of sculptun M . 1 >oi 1 and 



222 //// \ND WORKS (>!■ /I l\ L&OA <.!' 

M. Gerfime on one side M. Falguiere and M Dubois on the other! The struggle 
I-. interesting, and the champions worthy oi eacb other. M. Gerflme lias chosen 
for his debut an epoch thai he knows thoroughl) and a suhjeel thai he has treated 
man} times. Who has visiter] the world of the ancients oftener than he? Did 
not the artist in his youth make .-mew the fortune of unfashionable Olympus 
and restore neglected Greece and Rome to honor' I-, it not he who resuscitated 
Bacchus and Venus, Anacreon and Theocritus, Daphnis and Chloe, the Caesars 
and the Gladiators, the sacred woods and the amphitheaters, the arches ol 
triumph and temples, for a generation dotingly fond ol plumes and tournaments. 
■ I chatelaines and men-at-arms, oi feudal towers and Gothic color? 

"To be sure, M. GerOme owes much to antiquity, bu1 the antique world owes 
him something ! He has reconciled our epoch with worn-oul types by presenting 
them under a new aspei t. It is assuredly a merit to make an original translation 
oi hi old motif and crown it with success. Alter having been the chief of the 
Tecs, 1 am aware that M.c.erome brusquely abandoned his followers and 
played truanl burning incense before other gods. Hut the ancient deities 
only reconquered their pedestals through him, and to-day, resuming in Sculp- 
ture the subjects that brought him good fortune in Painting, the grateful 
artist worships again before antiquity and borrows for historic statuary a beauti- 
ful theme, which has already furnished him with the subject tor a beautiful paint- 
ing the Gladiators. M. Ger6me returns thus to Ins point ol departure and 
renews the loves ol Ins early manhood. Happy privilege oi art. which permits 
one never to grow old ! And in fact the artist lias not grown old. 'The Gladi- 
ators is worthy ol his best days. More rugged perhaps than the work of expe- 
rienced .sculptors, it has m its picturesque mass an individual tournure and style 
which are worth infinitely more than polish and priciositi. 

" ddie mirmillon, a figure in bronze, larger than nature, has thrown oft his 
of mail, a part ol which remains hanging to his belt. He has broken the formid- 
able indent of the retiarius. and at this moment, with his righl toot on the thio.it 
of his fallen and panting adversary, he holds him down. The latter writhes like 
a boa-constrictor in the clutch of a lion. He has seized the leg of his conqueror 
and tries to force H aside. Vain efforts! the foot presses like a rock upon his 
breast, the sandal is welded to his neck ! The retiarius retains scarce force 
enough to raise his arm toward the assembly and hold up two fingers m a di 
ate appeal to the clemency of the spectators. The mirmillon. triumphant and 
superb, the haughty head masked by the large visor, the body erect, with shield 
on arm and sword in hand, turns toward the seals and awaits the popular verdict 
thai shall deliver or slay his adversary. Everything betrays the intoxication of 
and pride in his strength. Under his armlets one divines the muscles ol 

sleel developed by daily exercise, and beneath the heavy armor lurks the agility 
(d a wild beast. Such is the group, and it would be difficult to impart to it more- 
accent, more passion, more movement. It would be difficult to render more strik- 
ingly, on the one hand the pitiless tranquillity and brutal pride of the victor in the 
arena, and on the other the anguish oi di feat and i he tenor ol death. 'The science 
oi the mise en a • ne, the exactitude ol the accessories, natural fruil oi the archae- 



LIFE AND WORKS Of JEAN LEON i,/i. 223 

ological studies oi the author, the arrangement ol the contours, the adjustment 
and the style, unite to insure the incontestable superiorit} oi this intensely dra- 
matic work. This masterly group well merits the place ol honoi assigned to il 
under the Trocadero Dare I confess my whole thought? This creation has a 
spirit and a power thai throw the exquisite and incomparable pictures oi the 
artist into the background and place the sculptor before the painter." 

Charles Blanc, in speaking oi sculpture, says : " It is a great art and al times 

one is tempted to believe it the greatest oi all. because it is at one and the same 
tunc like the reality and tar superior to nature, substantial ami ideal palpable 
and divine." 

In later years, when Gerdme had revealed, by the most varied masterpi 
in marble and bron/.c. his marvelous powers in this new sphere, we have heard 
him say more than once, with a sigh of mm el and satisfaction, "Ah' 

I was horn to be a sculptor." and lie had lived more than fifty years before 
being able to give reins to his grande passion.' One ot the most touching 
souvenirs in our memory is furnished by his description ot his timidity in 
undertaking this firsl group, I lis preparations lor it lasted a year, and he 

i\ ale or slept alter having once bee,. 111 to mold the clay. lie worked with 

ate energy, trembling, hoping, fearing, and at last the mighty group 
was cast in one piece, producing a chef-d'oeuvre that placed the artist, with 
one stride, in the front rank ol the sculptors ot this century. Though tempted 
by munificent otters, he has many times refused to pari with this. Ins "first- 
born," as he laughingly calls it, which won lor him his first medal lor sculpture. 
It remains on the lawn of his country-seat at Bougival, overshadowed by 
majestic trees, the magic touch ot sun and wind and ram having bestowed 
on 11 a deep rich patine that art could neither originate nor inula!. ' 

In the painting ot Pollice Verso the chief combatants have this same pose, 
and the tragedy is intensified by the unanimity with which the Vestals in their 
pure white robes, which seem to typify grace, mercy, anil pi i se the 

thumb, and savagely demand the instant death of the supplicating victim. 

But we must not forget the paintings which the master also sent to this 
exposition, an array so imposing that, in addition to the medal tor sculpture, 
he received for the third time the Grand Medal ol Honor, and was pro- 
moted to the rank of Commander 111 the Legion of Honor. The cross ot 
1 Mir er is worn on the lapel oi the coal, that oi Commander is suspended around 
tlu neck. Apropos of this promotion, Gerdme received the following charming 
.1 congratulation from his friend Edmond About "< her ami,jefais comme 
,-,.//, crotA fe vous saute mi couf" [Dear friend i 1 follow the example ol 
your cross, and fall upon your neck!] In a resume of this exposition De Pes- 

quidoUX writes : 





M 



224 UFE AND WORKS Of Jl M l.£OA 1.I.U1 ' !/ / 

"M. G6r6me, whom we place a1 the head oi picturesque genre, exhibits 
twelve paintings, seven oi which appear foi the firsl time. We will nol pause 

to speak ol L'Aminence Grise, 
.1 San/on, and Women at the 
Hath, long since appreciated. 
We must be content with ;i 
rapid survey ol the others, In 
,-ill oi them we admire the 
purity "I drawing, the preci- 
sion oi modeling, the delii at ; 
oi touch, and the solidity of 
coloring; besides, they are all 
eminently picturesque, some- 
times touching history in a 
familiar way, and borrowed 
from a magic country, source 
"I all light and all bi aut] 
as ol all truth we mean the 
Orient! ./ Bashi Bazouk, 
with turbaned head orna- 
mented with moi]e\ baubles, 
is very \ i\ id and ' fetching,' 
as he grasps his damaskeened gun and dances to am use his companion, while 
the roast ol meal, fruit oi then last robbery, is cooking, suspended on a 
tripod. Notice his old comrade with the gi who takes the long pipe 

from his month and smiles at the gambols oi hi- friend; from his sash. 
mixed in pell-mell with his arsenal, hangs the poultry which will furnish the 
repast when they again 
come to a halt. I le is the 
far-sighted pun eyor oi the 

band. Hall soldiers, hall 

bandits, ami indeed I 

soldiers than bandits, these 

scamps are more amusing 

here to travelers than in i 

reality ! • 

" The Turkish sports- 
man in a rose-colored 

1. in the Return from 
the ( hase, stopping to let 
horse and dogs drink from 

ular basin surmounted 
i>\ arabesques and shaded 
by green boughs, with a 

dee]- slung Over the croup 



QATE OF BAB-EL-ZOUEL 

188G 



1,111. AND WORKS OF JEAN LEON GEi 



'3 



oi the horse, is equally telling 
the movements oi bis anima 
U is an excellent picture, ol 



in local color, lit- bends with solicitude to watch 
s, and does no1 stir lesl be should trouble them 
a supple firmness and a soft, charming relief." 



'This List picture, otherwise known 
peculiarlj personal souvenir, Returninj 















is A ( ircassian ul tin Fountain, is a 
1 1 i mi ,i bunting expedition, < .« n i 
weary horse and hounds halted to quench their ilursi al this picturesque foun- 
tain, Tlu' combination was tempting. He slipped from the saddle, and the 
sketch then taken furnished the motif for this effective group. 

" The lion. cou< luil in his den, surrounded by gnawed bones and moving Ins 
tail, is superb in bis majesty, as calm as .i lion in Egyptian granite, as alert as 
the untamed denizen oi the 
Atlas. Whoever has seen 
the sapphire eyes of this 
monster shining in his 
tawny head, will not mh>h 
forget them." [This can- 
vas, also known as The I. ion 
of the Phosphorescent Eyes, 
was painted tor the Sultan 
Abdul Aziz, who was so 
treacherously assassinat 

"The lion on which 
St. Jerome is taking so 
sound a nap is not less 
powerful and serene, hut 
he is e\ idently civilized 
by the neighborhood of 
the Saint ! The artist has 
wished to prove that he 
understands animals as well 
as he does men ; he ( /ill 
paint every species. The 
African sloughis, who form 

the Camp Guard, squatted on their paws or seated on their haunches before the 
row ot tents whose occupants are wrapped in slumber, with ears pricked up and 
watchful eyes, show an all but human attention heightened by the simplest 
mise on seine. The Flemish masters have not bequeathed creations more dis- 

tinct nor in a heiter environment ; \1 Gi n like a true master, grows as 

in advances. IK- has never done better, and it seems as il it would be difficult 

lo i/i> hoi lor ' " 

The Street Scene in Cairo has already been described. <>f the Moorish 
Bath, a negress assisting her mistress who has just emerged from the water. 
l)e Pesquidoux says : 



X 




///•/■ IND WORKS Of II M IIOX i, I; KOMI 

"The ebony body of one and the Lvorj form oi the other, the first with a 
yellow Madras kerchief on her head, the second with her wealth oi golden 
tresses, are bathed by the ambient air, the high lights being adjusted with 
remarkable flexibility; there is nothing to criticise in this little gem, no fault 
"I style or orthography ; one could write perfect from one end ol the canvas to 
the other. The drawing, the color, the action, are equally irreproachable. 

" As for the melancholj duo m the midst of the desert, entitled The . \rab and 
Ins Steed, is it not a real drama? How gravely he sits, this Arab, mute in his 
grief, worthy son oi Mohammed ' What a tour de force oi draughtsmanship and 
anatomy is the body oi this ureal quadruped, still saddled, and stretched out at 
full length, his head inertly reposing between the hands and on the knees oi the 
cavalier who is sadly bending over him. And all the detail.-, of the work, the 
hands, the feet, the in. me. the hide, the stirrups, the pelisse, the turban, the 
burnous, aside from the actors, are portrayed, not only with accuracy but with 

breadth." 

Several oi these pictures, exhibited some years later in London, aroused 
universal admiration . the art journals calling especial attention to the "finely 
drawn and solidly painted group oi The Arab and his Steed," and to the Moorish 
Bath as a " masterpiece oi plastic art . the modeling oi this figure, so subtle and 
yel so vividly strong, is a study lor the English artist, over the deficiencies of 
whose academic training we have so often to mourn." 

The same qualities are notably displayed in the Women at the Bath, with the 
Narghiteh, an additional charm being added by the skillful reflections in the 
water. 

At the Salon in iSSi. Cerome's exhibit renewed the universal wonder and 

applause of 1878, and again obtained lor him the Medal lor Sculpture. The 

London Athenatum writes: " M.lierdme has won a new laurel b\ his admirable 

group in marble oi Anacreon, Bacchus, and love. Here the joyous poet, with a 

ibounding in humor, walks with a lyre at his back and carries a godlet on 

each arm. Bacchus dozes, while Cupid, a lovely boy. plays with the poet's b 

and is regarded by him with tenderness exquisitely mixed with satiric laughter." 
This remarkable group, which confirmed the artist's title of Master-Sculptor, was 

purchased by Mr. Jacobson. a well known lover and patron of the line arts in 
1 op ahagen, and placed in tin.' fine museum which he has generously presented 
to in- native city. 

\Imuii this time G6r6me also finished the Raphael ami Bramant m the 
Sis tine Chapel, and again took up a canvas lor which he had years before 
made a sketch, the Burning ol Shelley's body in !//<■ presence ol Lord Byron, 
but it still remains to-day with mam oilier unfinished canvases in his studio. 
among them the Conspirators, oi which we are happily able to give the original 
drawings. We remember that Claretic. being called upon lor a biographical 



///■/• AND WORKS <>/■ // l\ //i>\ G&RdME 21; 

sketcfa hi Gertme, was so astounded at his vasl achievements, that even this 
facile writer was obliged to treat most oi them en masse feeling thai to 
merely the names of such masterpieces would be enough, so well are they 
known to art-lovers all over the world. The period between 1870 and 1890 has 
been Ins most prolific our. Working al the same time on man] different 
paintings, it is difficull for the artist himseli to give the exact date ol the 
completion ol man} ol Ins beautiful creations, winch were often Bold without 
having been public! 3 exhibited in his native country, passing directly into 
private collections abroad. Most oi these are souvenirs ol his various journeys, 
for Gerflme is continuallj on the wing; all are intensely interesting and worthy 
ol detailed description, bul owing to theiT number we are forced to pass some 
with a very brief outline, and many with mere mention. All oi his Oriental 
themes are taken directl) from nature, and ^ivc an absolutely faithful idea of 
the scene or personages represented, and so inexhaustible an. Ins portfolios of 
sketches, that he can always produce a charming variant oi any desired theme 
and avoid the repetition so distasteful to him. Passing often from one collection 
to another, the original names oi the paintings have been changed, and the same 
canvas is known under several different titles, necessarily producing much con- 
fusion in the lists oi his works hitherto compiled. We have given to each 
work its baptismal name, received from the fountain-head. So inimitable is 
Gerflme's style and draughtsmanship, however, that there is little danger of 
any spurious work appearing under his ostensible signature, whereas even his 
unfinished work hears the unmistakable imprint oi this master-hand. A nota- 
ble proof of this came in a very curious manner to our personal notice, an 
unfinished and unsigned canvas, abstracted from the artist's atelier during the 
Franco-Prussian war. having been recognized as his work, thousands oi miles 
from Paris, by a well-known American amateur, the lion. M. I'. Kennard. tor 
many years U. S. Sub-Treasurei ol Boston. It was boughl l>\ him on faith, and 
afterward authenticated by the master. \ 5 the work in question is the sole 
example ot (icronie owned Ijv the Art Museum at Boston, the circumstances 
ot its discovery and authentication are of public interest, as verifying the 
genuineness of this beautiful canvas. Several years ago, while dining in Paris 
at the hospitable house of Mr. J. Buxton-Latham, a well-known English jour- 
nalist, the host, in relating some of his exciting experiences during the sii 
Paris, mentioned an occurrence which aroused our curiosity and eventually led 
to the discovery of the missing canvas. \lier dinner, the following brief outline 
of the Story was |ollrd down on a card and signed by our host : 

"During the first days ol October, 1870, 1 went to Bougival and visited the 

atelier of M. (Jerome. My companion look away a canvas (nude slave). We 



228 ///■/ AND WORK!, Ot II I \ / 1 1 ' \ i.lAi'lli 

were living with a M. Ducrot, a lawyer, No. 8 Place Hoche, Versailles, and he 
was to have taken charge oi the picture nil the end ol the siege. - |. B. L." 

Armed with this card, we repaired to Gerfime's atelier, where we were then 
gathering the material for this volume. Leading the com ersation back to the time 
oi Ins hast} ili-ln in England with his family, without giving our reasons, we 
obtained from him a lull description ol the canvas on which he had been at work, 
and which, as he discovered on his return, had been cut ou/oi its frame on the 
easel ! Inquiry proved that M, Ducrol ai \ ersailles had wo/received the painting 
in question, and the onl) clew remaining was thai the roving journalist, who had 
thus casih become the owner oi a chef-d'oeuvre, bailed from Chicago. Owing 
to the interval thai had elapsed since the abstraction ol the canvas, its discovery 
seemed hopeless; but it is always the impossible thai happens! The little card 
was carefully preserved, and exactly seventeen years from the October of 1870, 
we chanced to be dining again, this time al the house oi Dr. Charles Oilman 
Smith, one of the hest known physicians oi Chicago. Himself an ardent admirer 
ot ('icronic, it was hut natural that the conversation should turn 111 that direction. 
strange fortune, it happened thai we had just related to a little circle in one 
corner oi the drawing-room the story we had heard in Paris, laughingly inquiring 
if all Chicago journalists were of that stamp. Our host, who had heard nothing 
oi this conversation, joined our circle a few moments later and. with a "By the 
apropos ol ( ieioine." that promised much, related to us that some years 
before he had strolled into an oul oi the waj shop in Chicago, attracted by some 
bits oi bric-a-brac in the window. The owner of the shop, in rummaging behind 
the counter tor some ot his wares, dislodged a canvas which unrolled itself upon 
the floor, and although it was hastily returned to its hiding-place under the 
counter, the doctor had seen enough, even m the dim light, to arouse his atten- 
tion, The dealer evaded his questions and declared the canvas was left only on 
It happened that the Hon Mr. Kennard was visiting Doctor S. at this 
verj nine. Being an ardenl loveroi the fine arts, his curiosity was also aroused, 
and the next day he look occasion to stroll down to the shop. Long before OUT 
host had finished his story, we had divined that he was unconsciously furnishing 
the "missing link." and that the wail was found! The following week we 
started for Boston, and traced the treasure to its present home in the Art 
Museum. Al ('.clonics request, Mr. Kennard wrote the following account ot the 
circumstances under which he boughl the unfinished canvas: 

"The story has obtained some circulation thai the atelier ol (leromc al 
Bougival was broken into and sacked by the Germans, or the Communists and 
■ petroleuses,' during the demoralized condition ot affairs in the cm irons ot Paris 
incident to the lamentable Franco-German war. This is erroneous. The reporl 



* 




LIFE l.\/> WORKS OF II IX I iOX GERdifl 231 

arose, however, from an incident which may be worth relating. Unhappily, 
the atelier of Gerdme had noi that exemption from the possibilities ol the war 
accorded to Bonheur at Fontainebleau and to Ed. Frere at Ecouen, obtained from 
the German government through the influence ol the business agents ol those 
illustrious artists m London. Gerdme had not demanded it. It is, bowever, now 
well understood that in an unprotected momenl Ins atelier was entered and a 
small unfinished canvas surreptitiousl) carried ofl 

" Some years subsequently this canvas was disci ivered in a small art -mm 
and picture shop in a western city of the United States, bj a well known Bo ton 
gentleman, who instantly recognized the touch oi the great mastei as the can- 
vas was unrolled before him, and who purchased it upon the assurance ol its 
possessor a German newspaper correspondent that during the siege ol Paris he 
d a number ol the works oi Gerdme from the action oi a mob, and upon 
depositing these treasures at Versailles, the authorities there gave him tins imper- 
fect work in recognition of this service .' < >n this canvas one figure only, a female 
slave, was apparently finished ; lor the rest, there was simply a foreshadowing oi 
the background, with certain pencilings indicating the perspective design. This 
history ot the wait, found so far away from home, was implicitly believed by 
its Boston owner till a recent personal acquaintance with the master in Paris 
ri sealed the absolute facts. It some time since passed from his possession to the 
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and now hangs upon its walls. 

"Its author, pleased that his work should be SO readily recognized in a 
foreign land, and that his canvas had thus fallen into appreciative ownership, 
yielded to the fortunes ol war. and very courteously and generously offered to 
his newly found friend to authenticate the work with his signature should In 
desire it." 

Mr. E, II Clement, the accomplished editor of the Boston Transcript, wrote 

at the time of the discovery the following exquisite description of the picture: 

"The lion. M. I', Kennard, ol this city, last spring purchased ot a picture 

m a western city a little half-finished painting which has had something ot 

a history. It was represented by the art-dealer that it was a Gerdme, taken front 

the studio of that famous artist, together with other canvases, to save it front 

becoming 'loot' for Communards, and subsequently brought to this country by 

the correspondent ot a western paper. The western picture-dealer parted with it 
foi a comparatively moderate price, and Mr Kennard received his prize here last 
summer. On being shown to artists and connoisseurs inthiscity.it was univei 
sallj pronounced a genuine Gerdme; Gerdme was written in the subject and 
ill' 1 xecution as plainly as the master's autograph signature could have been 
an, H hid in a corner. The canvas was about twenty by thirty inches. In the 
center stood the only figure completed, and that fortunately was finished with 
all the perfection that characterizes the head ol tin- French school ol figure 
painters. It was a nude Greek or Circassian slave girl, stood up on a dais 111 a 
dealer's quarters. The penciled sketches in outline ot two or three men were 



232 



III I- AND WORKS OI // ■ l.\ !/,<\ ,,/ao]// 



perci pi ible around this centra] subject, which is by sonic declared to be from the 
same model thai furnished Ger6me's Phryne and Cleopatra. No description can 
begin to do justice to the painful beauty and thrilling pathos conveyed in the 
figure of the shrinking victim. The tristful story was told, not only in the face 
ball bidden by the sidewise bowing of the head, with its rich black locks, upon 
hand and arm pressed close to breast and cheek ; not only in the knitted brow 
and swollen but tearless eyes and quivering, ball closed mouth, ujion which the 

lone, drawn out horror and agony had fixed an immovable anguish ; but in the 




whole lender, brunet te-hued form, painted with Heroine's relentless realistic 
fidelity to skm and flesh. The whole quivering figure plainly breathed and 
palpitated the mute suffering of the ordeal, and sent forth a proto si against the 
unnatural indignity too deep tor expression save in an equally unnatural patience 
oi dignity and endurance 

'The suggestion was only of the purest, entirely one of sympathy and com- 
passion. The painting was last week placed without note or comment in a 
private exhibition of artists at the Union League Club in New York. It at once 
attracted th< marked attention n deserved, and was almost unanimously pro- 
nounced a genuine Gerfime. It was especially interesting to the artists as show- 
ing the master at work, and his peculiar effects in process oi development." 

Alter receiving the account from Mr. Kennard, we made another efforl to 
trace the journalist, ibis time with success; and. on writing i<> him to ask his 
confirmation of these facts, we reo ived a lengthy letter, giving full details ol 
the expedition to Bougival. Aware, however, thai his statements could casilv 
be verified, he did not venture to assert, as he had previously done, that the 



I III- I.YD l/dA'A'.v ()/• // l\ ll'j>\ i,l- 



*33 




authorities had given the picture to A*m, but justified his retention ol il on the 
ground thai he bad assisted in saving other valuable paintings, and with a 
sublime disregard <>i the difference between " tneum and tuum " he calmly adds 
thai on this occasion he "acquired other interesting mementos, among which 
are letters from high-standing persons to Gerftme!" 

So profoundly was the name ol Gerflme honored thai the invading Germans 
and even the riotous hordes oi Communists respectfully Left Ins town .-mil county 
residences and studios untouched, and even voluntaril] established a guard over 
them, and we were nol a 
little chagrined t<> be obliged <\;, • 

to confess i" the master thai 
our research had proved one 
hi our own adopted country- 
men Id be the delinquent ' 

We retrain from gn ing 
the name oi this enterpris- 
ing German-American, bul congratulate the journalistic profession thai In- baa 
transferred the exercise of his peculiar talents to another sphere, although their 
lo>s will bardlj lie considered a gain by the Chicago Board "I Tradi ! 

After passing through several hands this precious fragment was donate* 
we bave said, to the Boston Museum oi Fine ^rts, where we found it carefullj 
"slciit/," the authorities being unwilling to accord it a prominent place on its 
merits. We were bappy, bowever, to notice that at the recent spring opening, in 
■ i the enlarged Museum, it bad obtained its rightful place ol honor "on the 
i lose to a highly finished Meissonier, ami. though still lacking the master's 
signature.il is registered in the catalogue a i > Men sketch as it is, 

n has been pronounced by more than one connoisseur the gem oi the collection. 

One of the linest of Ger6me's finished paintings, with this same theme, is For 
Sale, oi which w in illustration. A later variant with the same title has 

two figures and the droll form ol a bal n leaning against a sleeping negress. A 

less mournful scene from Eastern life is portrayed in the Souvenir of Cairo \n 

a 1 nice sits in negligent altitude on a stone settle OUtSide Ol her house, her 
hands clasped around one knee and the lialiouehe half slipping Mom her raised 

foot. A gauzy veil, only hall concealing her truly Oriental face, heightens the 
beauty which will doubtless he thoroughly appreciated by the approaching 

soldiers. Her dimpled, bejeweled arm is exquisitelj drawn, and the voluminous 
trousers ,ne most artistically massed aboul her. A thin spiral o1 smoke rises 
from her chibouk, as. with half-closed eyes, she yields herself up to a day-dream 
which, let us hope, m I less disastrous ending than that ol Alnaschar the 

Visional \ ' 



234 I II I tJVD WORKS, ('/ // I \ rAi'.\ ,,//, 

A realistic scene is furnished by the Gun Merchant in Cairo, a swarthy old 
Arab in white turban and striped mantle, who, comfortabl} resting on his cush- 
ions behind the low balustrade which separates his bootb from the street, is 
delicately testing with thumb and forefingei the sharpness of a scimitar, while 
his shrewd, piercing eyes are lifted to the questioning warrior who has paused 
before the shop, doubtless tempted by the glittering array of arms which cover 
the wails ,-md dangle from the ceiling, catching and reflecting the li^ht and 
brightening the otherwise obscure recesses oi thi booth. A branch oi palm is 
thrust behind a lull sun ol mail hanging outside of the door, beside which a 
deliciously ugly Cerberus has mounted guard, and where the inevitable long- 
stemmed pipe stands ready foi a fri ndh smoke after the bargain shall have 
been concluded. The gorgeous costume ol the helmeted soldier, the coloring 
and quality ol textures and the effects of light and shade arc most admirable. 

The it'u// of Solomon, which now forms part oi the Mosque oi Omar, is a 
composition remarkable for religious feeling and absolute simplicity. Only a high, 
weather-beaten wall, with tufts of grass springing here and there from the inter- 
stices between the stones, and a group of motionless figures absorbed in prayer or 
mournful meditation. Hut what memories attach themselves to this consecrated 
spot, intensifying, by force ol contrast, its present desolation ! For the glory oi 
the House oi Israel has departed, and the unbeliever d this once Holy 

Temple oi Solomon by the worship of strange gods. Beside the sacred wall, with 
garments tattered and travel-stained, a weary pilgrim leans his forehead against 
the cold stones in an attitude oi utter abandonment and hopelessness; a little 
farther on, an old rabbi reads aloud comforting promises from Holy Writ, which 
are reverentially listened to by a woman clothed from head to foot m spotless 
white, while an ardent believer, who looks for the literal fulfillment oi the 
Scriptures, peers through a crevice ill the wall, it haply he may descry the 
Prophel whose advent has been so long awaited. Farther still, a fifth, with 
folded hands and bowed head, is reciting his prayers, and. in the background, 
another woman, whose face and form are entirely conceded by her ample drap- 
eries, stands quite apart, not daring to raise even so much as her eyes unto 
Heaven!" In the immediate foreground a typical son oi Abraham, with uplifted 
countenance and concentrated ^aze. seems to look also lor the literal coming ol 
the Prince of the House of David, before whose presence the hated idolaters shall 
fly like dial I before the whirlwind, and under whose reign the chosen ol tin Lord 
shall again chant in peace their praises oi the Most High. 

The artist has painted another view of this sacred wall with onh .me old 
rabbi at his devotions, A sharp contrast to this quaint figure is offered by./ 
Bos hi Bazouk Chief, a picturesque specimen of a brigand, who has thrown himself 
down in an indolent attitude on a wooden settle, his left hand resting lightly on 



LIFE AND WORKS OF JEAN LEOA GERdME, 235 

the exquisite carving, while his righl grasps the stem oi a chibouk. His bronzed 
features are admirably set off by a huge turban, and the different textures of the 

rich costume are rendered with the artist's usual fidelity and skill. 

A most attractive group is entitled ./// Arab aiul I lis Dogs. One smiles in 
instinctive sympathy with the pleasant-faced Moslem standing in his doorway, 
and affectionatelj regarding two superb greyhounds who lilt theii beads and 
return Ins glance with absolutely human intelligence. Aside from the incom- 
parable drawing and plastic pose oi these animals, one easily divines the affection 
that has guided the hind of the master, who has reproduced again, with such 
startling fidelity, the portraits oi his inseparable companions. The gj 
attitude of the Arab as In leans against the massively carved door, the various 
details of the rich costume, the jeweled weapons in the embroidered hell 
the tiles upon the wall, are rendered with the perfect taste inseparable from the 
least ol t'u 'Tonic's studies. 

A strange mixture of effeminacy and vigor is the Bischari with crisp, wavy 
hair standing out from his head, tawny complexion, heavy eyebrows, dreamy 
eyes, firm, well-shaped nose, and thick lips, with just a suspicion of mustache. 
and winch, parting, reveal teeth of dazzling whiteness. IBs mantle, slipping 
from his shoulder, shows a muscular, well-knit frame. With his shield of hip- 
popotamus-hide slung around his neck, a formidable sword held by a thong 
passed over his righl shoulder, and a sheathed dagger thrust into a leather band 
around the wrist, he is an adversary by no means to be despised, in spite ol the 
sleep] languor of his glance. 

But one lingers longer over the grim- visaged Greek called Ho/sans. Robed 
m rich apparel and bristling with costly weapons, he sits on his careen and 
cushioned chair, somber and listless, gazing moodily into space. Who 
divine his thoughts? Does he. like Alexander, sigh only for more worlds to 
conquer, or has the spirit of modern life, with its weariness and satiety, its 
melancholy refrain of " tout passe, tout casse, tout lasse," penetrated even to this 
favored country, where e;ods and goddesses in their immortal and joyous vigor 
once deigned to consort with humanity? Whatever the tenor of his gloomy 
reverie, he furnishes a tine motif for a picture. The tiled wall, with its dado oi 
matting and little niche containing a jarol odorous spices and rose-leaves, tonus 
a pleasing background, and the minoi 3, such as the pendant saber 

and cord, the narghileh with the stem coiled like a huge serpent upon a tray, 
the rug stretched upon a floor covered with strange arabesques, present .1 most 
harmonious ensemble of coloring and design. 

In the painting Horses Held by a slave we have a characteristic group, upon 
which the artist stumbled while strolling through the quieter streets in Cairo. 
Before a door Studded with massive nails and iron placpies with heavy rings, 



-'.!'> //// AND WORKS Ot // l\ //,'\ G&RdMl 

and sheltered by a curiously carved portico, stands an ebony-hued slave swathed 
in the folds oi a snow} burnous. One brawny arm is bare from the shoulder, 
.Hid in the hand are loosel) gathered the bridles oi three fleet-footed Arab 
coursers, rhe favorite, the "pride oi the desert," carefully groomed and richly 
accoutered, turns his eye to watch for the cumin- oi his owner, whose morning 
occupation is easily divined by the presence "I the fine fowling-piece hanging 
from the pommel oi the saddle. Beyond the deep shallow cast by the over- 
hanging stories oi the adjacenl buildings, the sun shines warmly through an 
archway that leads to the narrow street at the left, and, perched up aloft on the 
tiles of the roof , en silhouette againsl a cloudless sky, a solemn old stork stands 
on one leg, enjoying to the lull a delightful sun-bath. A simple scene, lull oi 
lighl and warmth, and betraying, in spite oi lis unpretentious realism, the 
hand oi the master in the inimitable draughtsmanship and perfeel adjust 
tnent of values. 

Who does not know the ( ircus Maximus, with its wild, mad tush oi gallant 
steeds through clouds oi dust that almost entirely conceal the rumbling chariots 
and their sinewy-armed drivers, who are urging on the foaming horses 1'V 
frenzied shout and stinging lash' We hold oui breath with the crowd that is 
massed in this -real arena, intently watching the furious onward sweep of these 
superb animals, who are straining every nerve to gain for their owners the 
coveted laurel-wreath. Never has Gcroine exhibited his complete mast 
motion more vividly than on this spirited cam as. To the hit rises the old 
palace Oi the Caesars, with the theater curving toward the center from which a 

subterranean passage led to the grand loge where the Emperor was wont to sit. 
surrounded by his favorites. The septizonium towers loftily in the back-round 
against the delicately outlined hills. The stalls tor the chariots, not \isible ill 
tin foreground, arc so placed lb.it no one oi the competitors will have any 
advantage over the rest in reaching the starting-point, which is on the right, 
parallel to the meta, which, with its three towers, marks the goal, and in the 
interior ol which the favor of the gods was invoked before the commencement 

Oi I he races. To allow sufficient space tor the turning of the chariots, the Spina 

traverses the arena obliquely and terminates where the half-way point in the 

course is marked by the second meta, the lowers ot which are barely visible 
behind the -feat obelisk, which to-da\ adorns the l'la/a of St. Peter's in Rome. 
Profound research was necessarx lor the reconstruction of the vast arena with 

its imposing architectural entourage; this, with the spirited drawing ot the 
horses, the delicate finish oi the miniature-like figures oi the spectators, and an 
astonishing variety of detail, harmonized under the mellow li-hl ot late alter 
ooon, form an ensemble worthy of the great master, and which places this 
can\as among the chefs-d'oeuvre of historical paintings, 



LIFE AND WORKS OF fEAN LEOA GERdME 

More than once ii has been said that one involuntarily smiles and siejis with 
G6r6me. This power extends even to his minor pictures, which often portray 
only the simplest events in the daily life oi the dwellers in the land oi the sun. 
What, for instance, could be more ordinarj and less inspiring than the si^ht oi an 
old Jewish Merchant, disputing with some Arabs over a common saddle and 
trappings! Yet what complete and subtle knowledge of race and character is 
expressed in the drawing oi these strange physiognomies, in these postures, in the 
very turn and bend oi the angers! Look at this Arab with the glittering eyes 
and regular white teeth, his hands crossed quietly over his sheathed saber and his 
burnous thrown back, revealing his bronzed neck and chest, one can almost 
hear the incredulous, mocking laugh thai issues from his open mouth, His 
friend and companion-in-arms, most probably also bis aider and abettor in all 
kmds ot mischief, whose lefl hand firmly grasps the stock oi bis gun while the 
fingers oi the right are extended and eloquently expressive oi figures, is giving 
vent to a vigorous opinion concerning the merchandise thai lies on the ground. 
A third Arab, the muscular development oi whose arm is calculated to inspire one 
wiih a certain respect, stands behind his comrades and contents himself tor the 
present with listening attentively to the discussion, The shrewd son oi Abra- 
ham, tar from allowing himself to be intimidated or even moved by the noi-\ 
protestations of bis clients, leans upon his stall and lilts his hand with a gesture 
of quiet superiority intended both to repress their vehemence and indicate his 
entire indifference to their arguments. One can imagine that the articles tossed 
so carelessly upon the ground have been brought baek as a bad bargain, and an 
indescribable something in the attitude ot the old Jew suggests that his indiffei 
once is assumed and that he is perfectlj and rather uneasily conscious of having 
over-reached his swarthy customers. Very likely, in accordance with the old 
maxim " An eye lor an eye and a tooth lor a tooth." he has only succeeded in 
payingoff an old grudge against these wily sons id the desert, who^e reputation 
for upright dealing leaves much to be desired. And on looking more closely al 
their faces one is convinced, in spite of their show of righteous indignation, that 
it is a case of " pot and kettle ' " 

In Louis XIV. and the Great Condi, we have one oi G6r6me's effective histori 
cal incidents. The staircase in the Palace al \ eisailles, at the head ol which the 
monarch stood to receive his illustrious visitor, exists no longer, but the Kscalicr 
de la Reine is intact and has the same decorations. Owing to an attack oi the 

gout, the ('.rand Conde ascendi d the sups sb.w le and furnished the King w ilh an 
opportunity for the flattering remark. " Tis not astonishing, my cousin, that you 
walk with difficulty, von bear so heavy a burden of laurels." As in L'Eminence 
Grise and the Moliere, the grouping of the court and the rich costumes furnish 
graceful contours and warm coloring to this Striking scene. 



\ 



-I" ///•'/• l\/> WORKS <>/■ /I.A.x lfi>.\ G&ROME 

In the Arabs Crossing the Desert, we h in the stilling heat, the pitiless 

glare, the interminable wastes of the wilderness; bu.1 tins time its monotony is 
relieved by vivid bits ol color and glint oi steel, for the tribe ol A.bou-ben-Adhem 
has broken camp and is marching across the trackless plain, guided by thai 
strange instincl which rarely betrays the ever wandering Bedouin. 'The white- 
■ irded patriarch and chief, armed to the teeth and mounted on a thoroughbred, 

gazes steadily forward as he paces over 
the shifting sands. Mis escorl ride at 
his side, their faces sheltered from the 
heal by the folds oi their burnous, but 
'"*) jA i their keen eyes sweeping the horizon with 

incessant vigilance. To ill' Kit, several 
white-robed figures sway to and fro 

on then lurching dromedaries, lint the 

greater number march vigorously on 
toot, seemingly undisturbed by the 
clouds ot dust through, which their 
forms are bazil] outlined. This picture 
is lull ol hie .md motion, and the at- 
mospheric effects full) equal the faultless 
drawing. 
Jyj The Negro Keeper ot the Hounds is 

a Striking type, as he stands surrounded 
by his superb animals, the ettect of his 
swarthy complexion being heightened by 
his snow-white turban and the back- 
ground ol dark green cacti and palms. 
L'Aveugle is the portrait ol a si^hl- 
le^s patriarch who came daily with his 

youthful guide to bring a supply oi Nile 
v. itei lo G6r6me, then encamped close to ihe Sphinx, on one ot his many 
journeys through Egypt. The picture oi Jean Bart, a Frenchman who gained 

renown upon the sea fighting against the English, recalls a droll incident 

related by Ger6me. On the eve of leaving lor Egypt, he employed a few 
leisun moments in sketching this figure from a favorite model. While thus 
occupied he received a visitor, Monsieur X., who. alter arranging with him a 
matter ol mutual interest, wished him a bon voyage and Kit him. still busily 
painting. Several months later, Ger6me, arriving at Marseilles on his return. 
according to custom telegraphed his model, took the night train, and. on 
reaching Ins atelier in Paris the next morning, found the fictitious Jean Bart 



THE POET'S DIIKAM 

1886 



/.//•/■ IA /> II ORKS 0/ fEAA I /■<> \ Gl R< 



241 






dressed in his costume and read} to pose Without delay, the artist seized his 
brushes and began where he had lefl off. 

His friend Monsieur X., having read in the evening journal the announcement 

.1 iniHiii.'s arrival al Marseilles, hastened to Ins atelier earl) in the morning, 
intending to be there to receive the wanderer, Entering unannounced, his look 

ii joyful anticipation was changed to a stare ol surprise on seeing Ger6me 
quietly painting and Jean Bart in the 
same posture, with the same expres- 
sion on Ins face ! 1 1 is perplexity 
became positive stupefaction when 
(ierome. whose quick wit hail seized 
the possibilities of the situation, 
instantly began, "As 1 was saying," 
and, without looking up, resumed 
the topic of conversation which had 
occupied them at their last inter- 
view ! Utterly mystified, the visitor 
sank mutely into a chair anil listened 
to the artist, who talked on com- 
posedly, while painting, only raising 
ln> eyes now and then to glance at 
his model. Finally his friend could 
hear the situation no longer. Striking 
his forehead despairingly, he sprang 
to his feet and cried, " Tell me, in 
Heaven's name- have you hern in 
Egypt lor six months, or have I 
gone mad? 

A hearty peal of laughter from the 
master and a hearty embrace relieved his mind oi all doubt, and Jean Bart took a 
holiday, while the two friends went out to a petit ddjeuner, where they celebrated 
the sate return ol the traveler and the success of his impromptu comedietta ! 

The Harem in the Kiosk is a charming scene with a luminous atmosphere. 
ill favorit ot the Sultan being gathered in a picturesque pavilion overlook- 
ing the rippling waters ol the Bosphorus. In the Guardians of the Sultan and 
the Grief of the Pasha latter Victor Hugo) the artist displays his incomparable 
drawing of wild animals, the lifelessness of the pet tiger being most skillfully 
n ndered. In the Serpent < harmer, the pose of the central figure, the convolu- 
tions of the great snake, and the varied types and expressions of the fascinated 
audience, combine to make thi> one of G6rome's most remarkable works. 




?4- LIFE AND WORKS <>/■ // I \ L&OA G£r6ME 

" Nominor Leo," another magnificent lion, the artisl has presented to the 
Museum of Fine .Arts al Vesoul, his native city, where he is beloved by old and 
young and where lie lias numerous pensioners lor whose wants he generously 
provides. The Plan Makers is a small canvas remarkable tor the classic contour 
and pose of the figures. . / Chat by the Fireside, with one figure standing and 
a n oilier crouching by a eh iimu \ -place in blue faience, is one of his most effective 
interiors in coloring, grouping, and textures, and in An Arnaut Smoking, and 
blowing the smoke into the nostrils of a superb dog, we have one of his besl 
examples of this genre. These two pictures wen especial favorites with the 
artist, 01 her phases of his talent are shown in Waiting (one figure, epoch ol the 
Restoration), ./ Bacchante, Seigneur Louis XIII., I Retiarius, A Gallit Gladiator, 
Mademoiselle I. Hi (a portrait of a daughter of Dumas), Pas commode (ancienl 
officer), Cave Canem (Roman prisoner of war chained), Portrait of the Artist's 
Daughter with her Dog, Personnage -Louis XIII.. Portrait of Baudry, and Por- 
trait of M. Rattier (view from his villa, with Gerdme and daughter coming up the 
avenue). Besides the paintings we have already described in detail, a Bashi 
Ha soak Drinking, Egyptian Cafe, Young Greeks at the Mosque. Treading oat the 
l, rain in Egypt, The Sentinel at the Saltan's Tomb, Dante, . Unties Playing Chess in 
• i ( ate. Diogenes, The Runners of the Pasha, Cairene Horse Dealer, The Albanians 
with their Pol;. A (,ani, of Chess (interior), ./ Ihto (Arnaut and bird), Moorish 
Bath No. z, /'he Tulip Folly ami the Relay of Hounds iii the Desert, are among 
those best known to the public through reproduction by photogravure. Less 
familiar are a Bashi Bazouk (from near Smyrna), Cairene Butcher, Arnaut 
t hie/. Almee of Cairo, Greek Woman. Casting Bullets (interior). Call to Prayer. 
Woman of Constantinople (flower design on wall in background), Music Lesson 
i Vrnaul and Raven), Cairene Merchant. Arnaut with two Dogs, Greek Smoking a 
Chibouk, Cairene Women. Arnaut in front of his Pent. Conversation by a Stove, 
The Standard Rearer. Bashi Bazouk (high turban, hanging ornaments, thick 
lips). Reading of the Koran in a Mosque. Woman of Constantinople (seated), 
Woman of Constantinople (standing), Prayer at Hroussa. Egyptian Recruiting 
• (on a donkey), Armenian Lady (veiled, beautiful face and hands). Field 
oh Rest (cemetery oi Green Mosque at Broussa), Almee at her Poor (smoking 
lie), Study old fewess, Butcher of Jerusalem . Arnauts before the Poor 
(one playing on mandolin I, Syrian Shepherd, Re/urn of the Lion to his Pen. 
Her, Ismail (playing on flute), Black Panther on the Watch (belongs to 
M. Theophile Gautier), and Winand Poking (drinking curacao in Holland. 
admirable effects oi lighl alter the manner of the Dutch masters). 

In 1883 Gerdme completed one of his most famous works, which needs no 
further comment than that furnished by the following letter, sent with the 
canvas lo its owner, Mr. \Y. T. Walters, ol Baltimore: 



LIFE AND works <>/■ LEAN LEON GERdME 243 

" My Dear Sir.- I send you a few notes about my picture The Christian 
Martyrs' Last Prayer, which you have bought. I regrel to have made you wait 
for it so long, bul I had .1 difficull task, being determined 110I to leave il until I 
accomplished all of which I was capable. This picture has been upon my easel 
for over twenty years. 1 have repainted it from the beginning threi timi s; have 
rehandled and rechanged both the effect and the composition, always, however, 
preserving my first idea. This, therefore, is really the third canvas which you 
receive. 

" I In- scene is laid in the Circus Maxim us. which might readil) be mistaki □ 
for an amphitheater, as in the picture onlj the end oi the circus, ami not the 
straighl sides, is visible. But you will see on the left the meta, which ends the 
spina, and is the goal around which the chariots made their turns in the races. 
as I have indicated by the tracks oi the wheels in the sand. The Circus Maxi- 
mus was one of the mightiesl monuments ever built. It held more than one 
hundred and fifty thousand spectators, lislclt touched the Palace ol the( 
whence a subterranean passage led directl} to the Emperor's loge. In the time 
of the Caesars Christians were cruelly persecuted, and many were sentenced to be 
devoured by wild beasts. 

Fins is the subject of my picture. 

\s they were religious enthusiasts, to die was a joy, and they cared little 
tor the animals, their only thought being to remain firm to the last. And rarely 
indeed was there found a case oi apostasy. The Roman prisons were terrible 
dungeons, and Christians, being often long con lined before the sacrifice, w hen led 
into the circus were emaciated by disease and covered only with rags. Their 
hearts alone remained Strong, their faith alone remained unshaken. In the 
middle distance 1 have placed those destined to he burned alive. They were 
usually tied upon crosses and smeared with pitch to feed the flames. Alluding 
to this. Tacitus says. 'These Christians should certainl] he put to death, hut 
wherefore smear them with pitch and hum them like torches'' Ills sympathy, 
however, went no further, h was the custom to starve the wild beasts tor 
several days beforehand, and they were admitted to the arena up inclined planes. 

"Coming from the dark dens below, their first action was ot astonishment 
upon facing the bright daylight and the great mass oi people surrounding them. 

"They did then, as does to-day the Spanish hull when turned into the arena : 
entering with a hound, he suddenly halts in the very middle of a stride. 

" This moment I have sought to represent, 

"1 consider this picture one of my most studied works, the one lor which I 
have given myself most trouble. 

"Is it a success' Very truly, 

"J. I.. CKRuMK." 

In this year appeared also /../ Danse Pyrrhique, which united in a most amaz- 
ing manner man] oi the artist's best qualities. Careful study will reveal, at every 
instant, hidden beauties which escape notice at a first glance, so harmoniously 
adpisted are all the values. It is greatly to be regretted that the accompany- 



-II ////■ iND WORKS Ol Jl l\ Ui>\ G&RdMl 

ing illustration cannol render the fine coloring of this canvas. This was 
followed by the Danse du Baton, in which the lithe, beautiful almee uses a staff 
instead oi a saber. The wonderful effects oi light and motion in these exquisite 
canvases testified thai the master's incomparably skillful hand was daily acquir- 
ing new and more subtle power. In 1884 we find the following notice in the 
Li mdon . Xthenceum : 

" No painter has been more heartily welcomed on his ret urn to the Salon than 
M. Ger6me. He has this yeai favored the world with two remarkable works. 
In his Slave Sale at Rome,the leading figure, thai oi a young female slave, is 
standing on a loft} platform, so placed thai not one feature escapes the light and 
the eyes oi the shouting crowd of bidders, whose extended bands indicate tbeii 
eagerness and their admiration ol her beauty. Bach hand is a study oi chara< ti 1 
and, so to say, biographical ol its owner, nol only in its peculiar form.bul in its 
action. Few ol the men's faces are shown, and oi their bodies only the shoulders 
covered 1>\ variously colored garments. Wonderful skill and care have been 
expended on the modeling of the virginal figure; over every contour, line, and 
changing hue, tin- artist's pencil has lingered so thai no pari is incomplete. 
Immense study has been expended upon the foreshortening oi the limbs. Her 
righl arm is raised to shade hei face from the glaring li^ht. Conscious of her 
late ami careless of her nakedness, devoid oi thai coquetterie which every French 
painter excepi M. Gerflme attributes to all the daughters of Eve, her air, attitude, 
and expression are those ol an antique statue. The shallow oi her arm is her 
onh covering, and oul of thai her glance re\ eals retrospect ion oi the home which 
is broken, bul nol .1 gleam oi hope for the future. Here lies not -a little of thai 
deeper pathos oi M. GerOme's design, which illustrates Greek recklessness ol fate 
and willful blindness to the future. Nevertheless, her people are here. By the 
side oi the desk on our righl stands the girl's mother in a black toga, holding a 
babe, and ncarei slid are three naked children. The oldest oi them squats on 
the platform, her chin resting on her knees, which both her arms embrace, while 
m ,1 stolid way she gazes into vacancy beyond the crowd, and waits her turn to 
stand where her sistei is, and be sold The hold, hard-featured Roman who sells 
the family wears a yellow toga with a red trabea. He stoops bj the side of his 
human chattel, toward the crowd, while with -'nc hand outstretched lie replies 
VOCiferOUSlj to the bidders. Clerks of the market seated at the desk and a 
second group ol slaves complete the design." 

"Night in Hi, Desert [continues the Athenceum] is a calm, moonlit scene 
pool, where a huge tigress lies at ease, like a grand Egyptian statue, upon 
the sand, and seems to purr with grim content, while not far ofl her two cubs 
gambol. Idie picture is lull of sentiment, and u has a vague grandeur due to 
the vastness oi the landscape and it- simple forms, which, although hut half 
visible, loom up in the uniform, almost shadowless twilighl oi the moon. 

./ Roman Slave-Market, which was finished about this time, hut not sen! 

i" the Salon, shows tin- reverse side oi the Slave Sale at Rome- the faces of the 




i ki I I'l l; 01 II' •' ND: 



LIFE AND WORKS Of /' l.\ LEO Mi 24; 

bidders, with all their variety "I lineament and expression, while thai of the 
beautiful slave is turned aside. It is almost as effective and pathetic as the 
first canvas. 

It was in this year, in celebration of Gerflme's sixtieth birthday, thai 
Chaplain, engraver in metals, executed Ins famous bronze medallion portrait 
oi the artist, an admirable woodcut of which was made for the Century 
Magazine of February, 1889, l>\ a well-known American artist and former pupil 
of Gerflme, Wvatt Baton. The same number contains other engravings after 
Gerflme, several oi which are worthy to be cut oul and framed, especially those 
executed by Henry Wolf, an Alsatian, we believe, who begged the favor ol 
reproducing the masterpieces oi his illustrious countryman. Gerflme, in turn. 
pronounced Wolf's work, especially in L'QZdipe, to be the finest he had ever 
seen, and was delighted to find that the engraver was a Frenchman. 

Gerflme sent but one canvas to the Salon oi [885, but it aroused the most 
enthusiastic admiration lor the amazing and evidently steadih increasing p 
oi this veteran oi sixty ; it is probably the most remarkable oi bis pictures in this 
genre. We well remember strolling through the 1'alais de I'lndustrie, on a 
gloomy, rainy morning, that reminded one oi London, and suddenly exclaiming, 
" The weather musl be clearing!" Hut the sound oi the steady downpoui 
undeceived us and we found that the warm light shone out from a large canvas 
on the opposite side oi the room. It seemed to till the whole gallery with its 
sunny rays, so wonderful was the refraction from the great pool oi water and the 
rising vapor. The London Athenaeum says : 

"The Grande Piscine de Brousse is a larger work than M. Gerflme usually 
gives us, with more figures, and not less elaborate than his wont. Idle scene 
is the interior oi a vast Romanesque octagon oi stone ; its solid arcaded walls are 
lixed with seats in the reeesses. and. in front, a wide platform of colored si.. ins 
incloses the bath proper. The place is illuminated by brilliant rays oi sunlight 
which, entering by openings in the solid roofs and traversing the vapor-laden 
atmosphere of the building, strike the floor to be reflected on the numerous nude 
or half-nude bathers who sit on benches, loiter with their feet in the water, swim, 
or stride on high clogs across the pavement, A tall, fair maiden, thus mounted 
and leaning on the shoulder oi a black attendant, crosses the place with unsteady 
steps, This young bather is one oi the best figures M. Gerflme has evi 1 painti a 
so elear, firm, elastic, and rosy. It is exquisitely drawn and modeled with the 
utmost choiceness, refinement, and research. Some of the minor figures also 
I] thi harms oi delicacy, vitality, and grace. The best group sits on a 
bench on our right in the mid-distance and is illuminated by cool, direct rays- 
still others by warm, reflected light." 

The illustration we give conveys but a faint idea oi the beauty oi this 

cam as. 



2 4 8 



/.//■/■ AND WORKS (>/■ // i.\ i/-.n.\ GiRdML 



About this time appeared also thai grandesl of all his desert scenes, Les Deua 
Majestes, which has been described in an earl) part oi this volume. These two 




absolute dissimilai ity, 
powers of the artist, 
memorable one. Our 



t 



paintings are well calculated, in their 
to emphasize the varied and perfected 
The year r886 was again a most 
readi rs will remember i be encamp- 
iiirni in the desert where Lenoir, 
heading the merry crew, 
started before dai bi 
to make the ascent oi 
the i iivai Pyramid with 

the assistance oi their Arabs, leaving the master alone to watch the shadows 
melt au.i\ and the unimpressionable mass ol stone in these eternal monu- 
ments blush under the First Kiss <•/ the Sun. The canvas which reproduces 
this perfect scene appeared at the Salon oi 1886. Says the Athenceum, "Simple 
as it is. this picture is grand and poetical," and Mrs. Stranahan writes. "The 
Kiss of the Morning Sun is lull of poetry. In the hush of 
the early dawn a caravan lies sleeping in the desert, as 
the highesl peaks 1,1 the Pyramids and the Sphinx are turned 
to a rosy bue by the first rays, the kiss, oi the rising sun. 
\ 1 1 is impressively suggestive of the processes of nature 

\ continuing with their full effects of beauty, whether there 

"^v^^ he observers or not, even while man sleeps regard- 

less of the rare and passing instant.' But (iermne 
was not the one to sleep away the hours when 
Nature reveals herself to her true worshipers 
in her loveliest moods, one of which he has 
reproduced for us in this exquisite land- 
scape. Charming as it is. it was almost 
eclipsed by another desert scene, the famous 
CEdipus, which we have also sketched in the 
early portion of this work. The London 
Athena' 11 in writes as follows : 

\s M.inromc's pictures depend greatly 

011 the expression and character of their land- 
scapes, we shall notice them in the 
present connection among the other 
landscapes with figures. No. 104s is named (Edipe, and gives us Napoleon on 
horseback before the Sphinx, which is a prominent object on the vast plateau 
where, in squadrons and lines, dark-blue masses of the French army are seen as 




LIFE AND WORKS OF JEAN LEON GERdML 



■ n 



far as the eye can roach. The time is [ate afternoon, when the sun is well on the 
north. Beyond the margin of our picture, on our left, the Emperor's guards are 
assembled, but only their shadows are distinct on the sands in front. The execu- 
tion of this picture is so 
minute and veracious that 
the effeel is stereoscopic. 
The delineation oi the enor- 
mous Sphinx could hardly 
be more striking; it gives 
a shadow oi a clear sap- 
phire blue on those contours 
which face the sky, and 
shows them to he brown 
where they front tile ruddy 
or the yellow earth, the 
local color of the stones 
being, of course, a pale 
brown. The modeling is as 
solid as in a photograph. 
The foreshortening of the 
outlines oi the shadow s. as 
they lie on the varying sur- 
faces of the Statue, could 

hardly have been studied 
with greater delicacy. Na- 
poleon's figui i . and that 
ol his beautiful horse, are 
quite like miniatures, and 

have been depicted with the same research which is apparent elsewhere; 
his air and face inform us that he is demanding oi the statue the answer it 
has given to none." 




In connection with this canvas the following 
i- interesting: 



extract from a letter to a friend 



•■ To reply to your question as to the Sphinx, 1 made his acquaintance a long 
time ago; I was camping all alone near the Pyramids, with my t < >< >k and my 

nan. 1 lodged under a large tree where, in spite of the meat heat, lor it 
was m the month of May. I was very comfortable. I was at the gate of the 
desert ; the cultivated lands end just there and the desert begins, consequently 1 
made sketches of everything that surrounded me ; the Sphinx, the Pyramids, the 
sandy plains, which from this point extend far into Africa. I did not know 
beforehand what 1 was going to do with these studies, nor with all the others that 
I ii i e brought back from my travels. It is only later that ideas come ; there is 
an unconscious labor in the brain and. suddenly, they are born! At least, so it 
is with me. and I suppose the same thing happens to main Others." 



250 LIFE AND WORKS Of / /■ I \ //■:n.\ G&KdAfi 

lii an original pen-and-ink sketcb oi the (Ediptis, the Eagle is proudly 
perched upon the Sphinx, as it to imply the absolute dominion of the Firsl 
Consul. In the painting, this feature does not appear. The fortunate owner of 
the sketch saw this remarkable canvas for the first time under circumstances 
which reveal so evidently, as in the story ol "/run Bart," the master's love of a 
practical joke and his skill as comedien, that we venture to reproduce this scene 
in the artist's atelier, quoting trom the original version ol the episode : 

"The talk one morning turns 10 in, .s.don ol 1887 and the preceding year, 

and a much desired opportunity comes to inc. 

" 'Do you know where your pictures go when they are sold ' I ask, as he 
leans hack among the cushions, this time really smoking, not matches, lint a 
simple brierwood pipe. 

Sometimes, hut rarely beyond the firsl purchaser, ii they change hands 

' Hut don't you care to know ?' I persist. 

"'When they are finished, thej an- finished,' be replies, with a shine; ol his 
shoulders, and there is an end of them as lai as I am concerned. But why do 

you ask ' ' 

"'Because there is one I have nol vet seen, and cannot trace, hut which l 
am determined to find il I have to make a special pilgrimage 
• Ah and that is 

"■ L'OEdipe, Bonaparte before the Sphinx, which you exhibited at the Salon in 
[886. I was not here, and I \),i\v only seen a wretched woodcut Oi it . hut the 

1.1 1 the composition, made so deep an impression on me that it haunts me.' 
" I'll ere is a sudden flash trom the slumhrous e\ es. 
" ' Tiens ' . 'est curieux ' 

\\ hat is strange ?' 
" ' Everything in lite.' is the sage reply. ' Hut I find it especially strange that 
I should happen to know where this very picture is at this moment.' 
I spring up m excitement, 
" Tell me where' Is it here 111 Tails' Is it tar awa\ ' Where shall I find 
it ' Tell me, quickly I ' 

'" Voyons voyons ' Soyez tranquille ! It is here in Paris, just around the 
corner. It belongs to one ol" my friends, and you shall see it as soon as you like.' 
" I begin to draw on ni\ gloves. 

"'I will go at once, and you..//. 1 Waitre, you will write a line to say 
"I'lease admit hearei to see the Sphinx.'" Make haste, oh. please make 

haste ' 

" My impatience has no effect on the imperturbable smoker, who regards 

me steadily, a very sphinx himself, with the addition of an amused twinkle in 

the enigmatic eyes. 

"A card is not necessary. You have simply to ask. and you can see it. 
You may say I sent j on 

" 'Oh. truly! I think I see inysclt demanding to enter private apartments, 



I 111. AND WORKS 01 Jl M I l.o\ (,lko\ll 251 

and saying, "Gerdme sent me!" It is likely that I would be admitted! Wli.it 
obji 1 nun can you have il will take bul a second ' Come, here is paper, ink, a 
pen ' ' 

"Thus 1 plead, nol a little surprised that ii should be necessary, so quick is 
this generous nature to respond to the slightest appeal Finally he rises, but 
instead o) going to the writing-table, he crosses the room to a corner where hang 
iat and hat. Ah. the good master' he is going to accompany me himsell ' 
1 sei/e my p irasol and, in obedience to a gesture, hasten toward him. Hut to m\ 
astonishment, instead of passing into the hall, he turns a brass knob till then 
unnoticed by me. and a door m the wall swings hack, revealing a dim passage. 
\ coin Icons wave ol the hand invites me to enter. Not daring to question. 1 
step in, followed by my host, grave and mute as the Memnon ami Sesostris who 
guard this mysterious, movable panel which closes noiselessly behind us. The 
sudden transition from the bright atelier to the obscurity of this narrow fallen 
confuses me and 1 stand irresolute, till a light touch on my shoulder urges me 
forward. My heart beats with eager anticipation of, I know not what, but 
assuredly it will be something delightful! I advance, step bj step, turning to 
tlie right, to the Kit, then sharply to tin- righl again, and my outstretched hand 
strikes an obstacle. 

\ door ' ' 1 whisper. 

"'Ebben! ouvrez!' There is a quiver of suppressed merriment in the 
voice. 

" 1 grope for the handle and turn it. Darkness still. A faint perfume lianas 
111 the air. and my foot sinks in a luxurious rug. In mingled enjoyment of this 
mystery and impatience to end it, I cry : 
■ Whei i 

"The word-- have scarcely escaped me. when I hear the harsh grating of a 
holt, the shutters are thrown back, and a flood ot light falls upon the Sphinx.' 

"'Eh bicn .' The master sits quietly in a chair, enjoying his little plot ; 
for he. himself, is the owner ol the painting which is truly 'just around the 
corner,' and the obscure passage turns out to be a plain everyday corridor, which 
runs along his ateliers and connects the rooms where he stores costumes, books. 
casts, etc., with his own apartments, darkened to keep out the summer heat 
and glare, and m one ot which hangs the long-sought foi (Edipus. 

" ' It is for my children,' says the artist. ' 1 would never sell it. I love it 
too well. We are old friends,' In- adds, rising and passing his hand affectionately 
over the mass ol yellow stone. It is impossible, w bile looking at it, to think of 
pa in I ami < anvas .' 

" And then he falls to describing his life in the desert, alone, in the twilight 
and thr early dawn, under the blazing sun and in the midnight stillness, with 
this mysterious being who has revealed to him 'marvelous things.' 

" 1 can well believe it ' 

\ Iter this, the little door stands always open to me. and 1 slip in often 
alone, to look at this masterpiece, which, with its tender tones, renders the 
Orient so much more faithfully than the flaming canvases ol other painters ot 



«S 2 'HI AND WORKS Ol- Jl M 1 1.<>\ G&ROME 

Eastern subjects. Ami as I study these inscrutable features, 1 fancy thai I catch. 
now and then, a fleeting, semi-ironical smile which seems to say, 'Why search 
elsewhere' Behold in me all mystery and the key thereof!' I speak of this in 
the master, lie replies quietly, ' Mais, sans doutel ' and smiles al the Sphinx, 
who positive^ returns his glance! There is certainly an understanding between 
them ! " 

In November, 1886, Gerdme finished another well-known painting, La PorU 
des Boulets, now in the Powers Ar! Gallery a! Rochester, N. Y. The following 
letter from the artist to Mr. Powers accompanied the canvas: 

" Dear Sir: Excuse me for nol writing to you in English, but I only know 
two words ni thai language, 'yes'and ' no'! As you see. my vocabulary is very 
small, and 'lues nol permit me to express my thoughts. Your picture was 
finished to-day, I have given greal care to it in the hope of pleasing you. and 
I trusl you will find it altered to its advantage. When you honored me with 
your visit, onl] a few of the figures were drawn, and the principal ones were nol 
finished. It is sent to you in a very had state, like all the work thai goes oul 
ol an artist's studio, thai is to say, that it is covered with spots and blotches 
that will disappear in the varnishing. I took pains not to varnish it because it 
is freshly painted, ami that would have been disastrous in the future. Do not 
pa-^s judgmenl on it lor the present ; wait until it is varnished, for it will be 
completely changed, hut do not submit it to this operation before two months. 
By that time it will be completely dry. 

" The scene is laid ai the Gate of Bab-el-Zouel, which ends the large bazaars 
of Cairo. This place is always Idled with people of all countries. On 
here fellahs, Jews, inhabitants ol the borders of the Red Sea, people from 
Central Attica and Abyssinia, men from the Soudan, traveling merchants. 
purchasers, loungers, and Europeans. It is the liveliest sighl in the city. 

"The two personages dressed in white arc runners, or sais, who precede a 
pasha on horseback. Riders have always one or two sais. who clear the way and 
who hold the horse when they go into a house or shop. Formerly there were 
only two means of locomotion, asses and horses; carriages did not exist. Then 
the number ol sais was large, but to-day, as there are many vehicles, they have 
singularly diminished, but still a few remain. 

"Contrary to my usual custom, and to accede to your wish. I have signed 
1I11- picture twice, the tirst lime with my name, and the second lime with my 
portrait, in the right-hand corner, the person dressed in blue. On my head there 
is a green turban, to winch I have no right, because only those who have 
returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca may wear it. ll is true thai 1 have been 
very near that holy city ' This work is therefore doubly authenticated, and 1 
shall be pleased to meet your approval. 

" Please accept, sir, with my cordial salutations, the avowal ol my besl senti- 
ments, 

•■J. L. GEROME 



//// i.\/> iroxA's (>/ // i.\ l£oa g£r6mi-. 255 

Two other superb canvases, finished this year for a personal friend ol the 
artist, Mr. Elbridge T. Gerry, of New York, were L'Entrie tin Taureau and l.a 

Terrasse </// Serail, which are ranked by Gerome as two oi Ins best works. 
They are certainly triumphs of color, pose, and light; never has the master 
displayed to better advantage in small figures his inimitable draughtsmanship 
than m the lithe, well-knit bodies ol the toreadors m the firel picture and the 
11I tonus of the harem beauties m the second, which presents a faithful 
reproduction ol the interior ol the Did Palace at Constantinople. 

In lln-> same yeai Gerfime, who was then at work on the statue ol Omphale, 
conceived the idea ol reproducing on canvas the unfinished figure as it looked 
at the close oi the day's labor, He has produced a most effective seem 

The End of the Siance, showing his model flinging wet cloths oxer tin- statue 
to keep the clay from drying, while the sculptor himsell bends ovei a pail 
of water and wrings out the linen bandages, The contours ami posi oi the 
model are replete with grace, delicacy, and strength, and the- arrested action 
is startling in its realism. The posture ol the artist also is eminently novel 

and interesting. \l the Salon ol [887 appeared Omphale, ol whose he.iulv 
we have alrc.idv iildeavorcd lo give some idea \lasson writes ol this e.Xipil 

site creation ; "Heroine has found also m sculpture that which he has so long 

sought for and found in painting beauty and grace. He himsell has bestowed 
the informing idea." Placed in the garden ol the Palais de I' Industrie, its 
charm was heightened by the near neighborhood of that terrible and power- 
ful group entitled The Gorilla, executed l>\ 1. clonics intimate friend Fremiet, 
who this year obtained the Medal oi Honor. 

Although the master had seriously undermined his health by unintei 
rupted labor, having worked on the Omphale main days from seven in the 
morning till eleven at night, he did not permit himsell ,m\ rest, and this ve.n 
he produced also two remarkable and very finished canvases. The Carpet 
Merchant and The Rose, both ol which were immediately acquired lor American 
collections, where, indeed, the greatei numbei ol his masterpieces maj be found 
to-day, In letters to a friend, received during tin- autumn and winter ol 1887 
and 1888, there is the same record oi unremitting toil, betraying in and between 
the lines the unflagging energy ol this man ol indomitable will, under the 
most trying circumstances of mental and physical suffering. Even when he 
refers to his own cares and anxieties, there is no trace of egotism, and Ins 

generous heart, burdened b\ personal griefs, interests itsell lor tin- poor and 
needy, the sick and suffering, he they in want ol succor and comfort tor bod} 
01 soul. To divert then minds, he forces himself often to he gay. Always 
inspiring, always uplifting, he leads the way by precepl and practice, in the 

Struggle toward the ideal. We translate several passages from these letters 



///•/ \ND WORKS Of // IX L&ON G&ROMI 

in i ho hope of stimulating the ambition of students and workers in every sphere 
ni usefulness, and encouraging them to accomplish truly serious and conscien- 
tious work, whatever the difficulties and drawbacks of their environment. 

In May, 1887, writing of a young artist in whom be had expressed a deep 
interest, he says ; 

" I had ad\ised ynmy I'— not to ^o to Spam, but to remain here in order 
to study seriously. 1 regrel that he did not listen to me, so much the more since 
I learn by your letter of his unfortunate journey. It is money, and above all, 
time lost. I am much pleased to know thai be is busy, and trust his work is 
serious, with an eye to his future. When he decides to return to Paris, you may 
rest assured thai 1 will interest myself to the utmost to serve him and to be 
useful to him in every possible way. 1 regrel thai he did not long since carry 
out his intention of returning to France. Ii is here thai one finds all thai one 
needs in order to pursue truly austere Studies, which re-echo through the entire 
career oi an artist lor l^ooiI principles inculcated in a young mind arc never 
, f/,h I'll. " 

In June, he writes from Bougival : 

" I am m my atelier in the country, working in the open air, getting ready for 
the winter. I endeavor to console myself by incessant labor lor the misfortune 

which has befallen me and which always weighs heavily upon me To 

amuse you a little. I send you a bit of verse that 1 have made about the sketch 1 
had the honor to show you the last time you came to my atelier. 

" I l SPR1 1 II LA BET! 
" l.e i'oete est assis mollement sur la grfrve, 
A l'lieure 011 le soleil va se COUCher ; il reve. 
I. a Muse la touchc ; la Muse lui fait voir 
Tons les Dieux de la Mer, comme dans un miroir. 

Emergeanl de l'6cume, e'est Venus Astarte, 

1'ivoi lecond, sur qui tourne l'humanitc . 
Neptune, sur son char an cavalles humides. 
Les Tritons, les Dauphins, les blanches Neriides; 
l.e ( yclope, an repos sur les monts sourcilleux, 
Icarc. deplunu . lombant du haul descicuv 
Les Sirenes perfides, /'/"/, gardanl ses phoques, 
Glaucus, Melicerte, el les monstres baroques ; 
Le vieua V&rie, la tfete ceinte du nenuphar, 
El Phoebus, dans les Sots precipitanl sun char. 

11 n'esl d< |.i pin-, jour, il n'esi pas encore nuit, 

I „i \ mi m s'efface, li rfive se finit ! 

I.es Dieux out disparu, pour ne plus se montrer; 

■ /// .' f'ai grand /aim.' dit V Homme — ' il est temps tie rentrer ' ' 



LIFE AND WORKS OF It l\ LEON c/.AOUl 



-57 



The sense of the ridiculous and love oi abrupl contrast which are to be found 
in many of the master's paintings crop oul in the last line oi iliis impromptu 
"Envoi" which reminds one oi Heine, in its unexpected denoument, 

In September, he writes : 

"I am very much behindhand forgive me. For some time I have been 
greatly oppressed with sorrow and melanchol) ,1 sorl ol no talgia 1 have no 
courage to do anything, and il<> nol like to burden others with my weaknesses. 
.... I have just returned from a short journey 
tn the shores of the Mediterranean, where I made 

some similes oi the sea which I need lor a picture 

I .mi painting. Ami here I .im again installed 
m Paris, preparing work lor the winter -for it is 
work alone which satisfies the mind ami consoles the 

heart One cannot, in the course oi .1 day, 

entireh re-create one's self. Mill, one must not l.iMx 
Succumb, hul resist to the Utmost : nol yield without 
a struggle, hut always seek to regain lull self-possession, 
flii spirit should always dominate the flesh. . . . 
shall send you some photographic reproductions 
some oi my paintings and will keep you posted in regard 
to my future work." 

In 1 )ctober, he writ< s 

" 1 have just sent von a collection ot photographs 
ol some ot my pictures. I hope you will like them. In 
any e\ent. 1 shall esteem mysell happy it >(iu will 
receive them favorably and occasionally glance at 

them 1 have begun again to work with frenzy, 

in forgel my griei and melancholy. Since I had the 

ire oi seeing you 1 bave finished several pictures 

which bave gone to your country, and 1 have begun 

1 others which will probably follow the same route. I also have a mind 
to model another figure in order not to lose time during tin months ot 
November and December, when the light is too poor to paint, but sufficient 
in model in claw" 




In November, he writes : 

" We are having days so gloom) thai one might imagine one's sell in Eng- 
land, and it is almost impossible to work. Nevertheless. I keep at it desperately, 
and expect lo fight on to my last breath .' 

In December, 1 SS7 : 

"Your letter just received. I hasten In reply. You are ,u;iv in^ voursell 

100 much trouble lor me; I am not worth it. 1 feai your conversation with 



-\v s LIFE l\/> WORKS Of II IX I. fox <;fi;o\li: 

the editor oi can have no effect, for journals and reviews often follow 

the taste "I the public, instead of directing it, and they are obliged to reflect 
tin' opinions of their readers, otherwise their articles would not be read ! 

And when one is a journalist, one must take eare of the subscribers! As to 

this question oi nudity, il is useless to argue about it in your country. Man] 
people wdio are not better than others desire to appear so. They are simply 
fesuits! The untie, in itself, is not indecent but the manner in which it is 
rendered may be SO, through the evil intention which has guided its execution. 
\u the Venus of Milo, the Venus oj Medici, etc. , immodest statues? On the 
contrary, nothing could be more chaste; and often certain figures, dressed 

Mini manner, are more calculated to awaken improper ideas than figures 

which are entirely mule. 

■•'It is not the nude,' says Diderot, 'that is indecent, it is the retroussi.' 

And he was right \s to my method of teaching il is very simple, but 

this simplicity is the result oi long experience. The question is to lead young 
people into a Straightforward, true path ; to provide them with a compass 
which will keep them from going astrav . to habituate them to love Nature 
(the true), and to regard it with an eye at once intelligent, delicate, and firm, 
heme, mindful also of the plastic side. Some know how to copy a thing and 
will reproduce it almost exactly; others put into it poetry, charm, power, and 
make oi il a work oi ail. The first are workmen, the second are artists. An 
abyss separates the mason from the architect/ To-day, in this epoch oi moral 
and intellectual disorder, there seems to be a sovereign contempt tor those 
who seek to elevate themselves. to move the spectator, to have some imagina- 
tion : lor those who are not content to remain lettered to the earth, dabbling 
m the mud of realism ! It is to-day the fashion, to which all the world sacri- 
fices, because il is only granted to a tew to have a welbbalanced mind, and 
because il is easier to paint three fried eggs than it is to execute the ceiling 
of the Sisttne Chapel ' But all this will pass like a shadowy phantom, and 
it need not make us uneasy. As Latnartine savs; 

■ l.e cygne qui s'envole aux voutes eternelles, 
Amis, s'informe-t-il si ['ombre de ses ailes, 

I'lotle encore sur nil v il gazon ?' 

I Does the swan who wine;s his Bight toward the eternal v. mils, question 
whether the shadow of his wings still floats o'er the sward below ?] 

"The method of instruction should above all lend to protect the young mind 
from the influx of these paltry sentiments, which, having generated here, have 
crossed the Atlantic, and are in a fair way to infect America. 1 claim the 
honor oi having waged war against these tendencies, and shall continue to 
combat them, but what can one do against the current' A young painter, who 
begins his career, has need oi great Strength of soul not to be swept away by 
it. and even those who resisl cannot entirely ascend against these rapids, 
but suffer in a certain measure from their influence. Net I am far from being 
a retardataire, an exclusive, and I have always loved all experiment, all effort, 



//// AND //CAA.s 01 II \.\ I l-.o.\ GEROMl 259 

in whatever direction; these indicate in a countrj a fore oj • tpansion. I love 
movement, foi movement is life. Only, these revolutions should be made by 
people oi talent, who have understanding ;m<l knowledge, and 1 must Bay thai 
many painters of the modern school, the impressionists, the plein-air-isU . the 
independents, etc., are more ot less fumistes, some oi them humbugs, and some, 
ignorant as carps' To-day, when a work is insipid and badly executed badl) 
drawn, badly painted, and stupid beyond expression it stands a good chance 
of being a success, since ii is on </ level with those who admire it! To-day when 
one walks through the halls oi the Exposition at Tans, one is struck first by the 
great number of works produced works which often have not cost their authors 
any great pains in any respect, cither as to subject or execution, The Common- 
plan is in honor, and Poetry has Bed to the skies! Will she ever descend 
again ?" 

Later he sa\ s 

"I send you, with this, a letter written some time ago apropos oi the thirty 
per cent, duty placed on works oi art on then entry into the United Stales 
ol America. Ii has been printed in some American journal, I do not know 
which one. Thanks lor all the trouble yon take lor me, ol which I am un- 
worthy " 

■•.... In writing these reflections on the subject ol the thirty per cent, 
duty imposed on foreign works of art on then entry into the United State-.. I 
regrel that I am nil oi American nationality . lor. being a Frenchman and 
suffering from this measure, my opinion may nol appeal disinterested. It is 
none the les> m>. however, lor I am accustomed, when I have to pronounce 
judgment, to eliminate my personality. I will give you, then, my views in all 
frankness, without prejudice, with entire freedom. 

"What is the object of this measure' What will he the result? Will it 
enrich the Treasury? Will it benefit American painters'.' The reply to these 
last two questions can only he negative. In the immense revenue ol the United 
the sum gained by ibis entry-tax on paintings, whose number will 
inevitably he diminished by this species of prohibition, will he as a drop oi 
water in the sea, and your vast country, so rich through it-- agricultural and 
industrial products, will make hut a lew dollars more. As to the sale ol the 
works of indigenous painters, it will he no more and no le>s active than in the 
past ; ii they are good, they will find purchasers, lor the taste ot Americans is 
already singularly well cultivated, and they only seek works ol art desirable on 
account of their invention and good execution, without troubling themselves 
as lo the nationality ol 1 1 n authors. If the winks are bad, they will inevitably 
remain on the hands ol the producers, and this will he just ! Those who buy 

works of art are generally rich people, who sensiblj prefei to pa) well lor a g I 

picture, than to buy cheaply a canvas which they would scorn lo hang on the 
walls of their houses beside a masterpiece acquired elsewhere. These two points 
seem to me clear : the object has no reason /or existing, the result is null and void. 
There is a moral side to this matter, which I would like to emphasize, and which 



26o llll \ND WORKS ol II i\ iio\ G&R&ME. 

seems to me nol withoul importance, tiamelj i thai u is in France and in Gi i 
many thai man) young American artists have received their instruction; we 
have given them their education gratuitously; the} have been treated like native 
pupils in "in State Schools. It is then to foreigners thai they owe whal the} 
know, and withoul these foreigners there would have been neither painters nor 
sculptors in the United States. Is ii just to treal the productions oi thi -• fo 
artists and teachers with so great a severity? Is there nol a little ingratitudi in 
this kind "I ostracism } I know well thai ii is said ' N I no gratitude- 

ire onlj for their own interests.' Perhaps this is true in .nn case, this is 
nol to their credit, and I regrel ii above all in this special case, where theii 
interests are so ver) badly comprehended. 

" A1 the time oi th< announcemenl oi tin-- custom-house law, which, let ib 
confess, is a trifle uncn ilized, there was great agitation among the artists in Paris. 
In order to consull as to whal was to be done, I called together an assemblj' oi 
French and American painters al my house and, 1 musl saw th m taken 1>\ 

the latter was eminently correcl and irreproachable. They were almosl as dis- 
contented as we were, and they proved it bj theii | ddressed to the 
Congress oi the United States, a petition whose tenor bore witness to their 
gi ititude to us. and their regrel al the adoption oi a measure which dai 

iously. They recognized clearly their obligation to us; that we 
had treated them well in every respecl ; thai they had been admitted ti 
Vcadi m\ "I Fine Arts on the same terms as our French pupils ; that they < n 
the same privileges al our Annua] Expositions as our native exhibitors ; thai they 
wards when they merited them, and gi s al the Salon when 

they were worth) ol them ' Why were we, then, thanked for our kind services 
li\ such lion-like proceedings? 

"In short we have onl) praise foi these young people in regard to this 
matter, and I desire to repeal loudly, so thai no one may be ignorant oi it 
they all employed everj possible means to indue Con ress to repeal so mi- 
lk .1 law ; thee did not succeed, bul this lack oi success cannol bi 
[aid a1 theii door' It gives me the more pleasure to bear Uns testimony, in 
thai certain contrary rumors have been put in circulation. 1 had it al heart 
to deny them ; il is done ! 

" In all countries in Europe, works of art are entered tree of duty ; this sys- 
tem oi n on prohibition has already been fruitful in results, Ii is by this means 
thai different Schools oi Painting, Architecture, and Sculpture have been fo 
in Germany, in Italy, in France, in Belgium, in Spain. It is the study oi the 
works ol then predecessors that has developed the men of genius who are the 
glorj oi theii country. It is only alter protracted efforts that a nation sua 
in establishing serious Schools of Art. It is little by little thai the sentiment 
i nly is in I used into a people, as a result ol an education which is the work "I 
time and ol the beautiful and good creations placed before its eyes. What would 
be worth more than a. prohibitory tax, to America which has no past, would 
be measures favoring the entry ol paintings, statues, etc., which would permit 
individuals t<> form private collections, and cities to |„,s-.cs- public museums' 



/.//■/ AND WORKS Of fEAA LfiOA GEROME, 263 

"One day 11 will be said li was at the end of the nineteenth century, in 
the full expansion of civilization, thai there arose a strange, incomprehensible 
idea of classing the productions of the mind with sardines in oil and smoked 
ham' In all countries works ol arl were free from duly in all save one, 
whore they were burdened with an exorbitant import-tax by the youngest, 
the greatest, the richest ol nations!'" 

This eloquent protesl needs no comment . its trenchant justice must be 
apparent toe\er\ one who has thoughtfully considered this subject. Hut when 
we remember the almost superhuman efforts that were needed to overcome the 
obtuseness and obstinacy of our law-makers, who disgraced the nation foi years 
by their repeated rejection ol a law to repress i he- 1 1 and enforce common honesty 
in the matter of International Copyrighl we despair oi opening their eyes to 
perceive this lesser but still humiliating blot on the American escutcheon. Until 
it. also, is wholly effaced, those who were onee our warm allies and admirers may 
rightfully accuse us of injustice and ingratitude 

Arriving again in Loudon m the early spring ol 1888, the master's corre- 
spondent found a letter <>i welcome in whicb be writes: " You Americans are 
intrepid travelers. I admire the courage ol your mother wdio. at the age ol 
sixty-nine, bas crossed the ocean with you. As tor me. I bave not left my 
easel since I saw von. save for that one little trip to the Mediterranean, where 
1 went to make some studies of the sea tor the picture which 1 have al the 
Exposition. 1 am well, only a little tired by the steady work ol the winter, and 
I really need a little rest, hut I have no /inn /or it .' " 

The painting relet red to as at the Salon ol i.sss, was ///, Poet's Dream, which 
the artist himself has so charmingly sketched in the impromptu verses previously 
quoted. We find the following description in a Tarts art journal : 

" A deserted strand on the coast oi Greece In the distance, emerging from 
the depths oi the sea. two roeky islets whose Steep sides are colored by the setting 
sun with tints ol sapphire and amethyst. The poet, clad m la dernier e mode oi 
1X04. top-boots, brown coat with metal buttons, white necktie and lace cuffs, is 
reclining on the sands while lu- dreams, contemplating the infinite heavens and 
the boundless sea . his Muse, draped in green, crowned with laurel and carrying a 
lyre ol ivory, arises behind him and gently touches him. Immediately the hosts 
ol Poseidon become visible to him. The Nereids he upon the sand ; the Tritons 

blow into their shells; the three Sirens. I'artheilope, Ily^eia. and l.eukosia. 

advance singing ; Aphrodite surges up on a jet of loam, and from each hitler drop 
that falls from her tresses a Cupid is born ' There is already a veritable swarm 
hovering around thegoddessl Seated upon a rock, old Proteus guards his herd 
ot prophetic seals. Further off, Phoebus skims the liquid plain with his chariot 
drawn by horses, as light as the halcyon breeze and as swill as the tempest. 
Arion is borne away on the back of bis tuneful dolphin, and learns, stripped of 
his wings, tails from heaven into tin gull below." 



-''' I 



///■/■ l\P WORKS 01 II IX I !t>.\ G&RdMl 



This was nol the only exhibit < > t the master. War by hung a small 
canvas with one solitar) Bgure, which, however, impressed the observer with a 
sense of illimitable space and concentrated vitality. Ii was entitled Thirst, and 
was described in the London Athetxeum as follows: 

" A grand desert scene, charged with a whitish glare ; the blank brilliancy of 
torrid noon dominating a wasti ol sun-blanched sand and stones. The desert 
extends nearh to the horizon, where a group of palms and other trees forms one 

long line, and beyond that a dim 
purple range oi mountain-tops 
looms in the air. The effect is 
stereos i >pic, and the atmosphere 
perfect^ painted. Near the from 
are a few shallow pools, at one of 
which a huge lion laps the water 
in an ecstasy ol tlmst well ex- 
pressed by the design of the animal. 
His haunches are drawn up, his 
tail is . stended straight along the 
sand, and his inane drops forward 
as he drinks." 







It is needless to say that these 

chefs-d'oeuvre found immediate pur- 
chasers, the first passing into the 
alread} rich collection oi thi I 

Oi Russia. 

tnrome also exhibited this 
same season, at the Royal Academy 
in London, a Negro, draped in a 
rose-colored burnous, on a back- 
ground oi blue faience; at Copen- 
hagen, Le Hatnmam Vapeur sic he, which obtained for him a royal decoration, 
and in Moscow, the Vapeur hutnide ; in addition to which he had finished three 
other canvases, respectivelj entitled: ./ /:<////. Woman Bathing her Feet, and 
ili, \wakening, Each one is a masterpiece in which the artist seems to 
surpassed all his previous achievements, especially of modeling and flesh tints. 
\\ ords can give no idea of the marvels of texture and coloring, the effects of light 
and vapor, the solidity and grace assembled in each of these canvases. The 
contrast between the flesh tone in the Vapeur sec he, where the bod] is ros] from 
the exertion oi the hath and massage, and the warm brunette hues ot Thi 
ning, where the half-roused beaut) shp> from the conch to her knees, 
stretching her exquisite arms luxuriously above her head shows G6r6me's 



tana<;i;a 

1890 



LIFE \ND WORKS OF // m LEOA GER0m1 265 

absolute master} oi the most subtle secrets oi color. We should but multiply 
adjectives in endeavoring t<> give an adequate description of these latei winks. 
the skill revealed in i hem amazing even those who are best acquainted with his 
work and have followed him step by step 

In the midst of his absorbing occupations, G6r6me was ever ready to respond 
to almost daily appeals for advice and help. President and member of many 
different societies, he was prompt and punctilious in the fulfillment oi hiso 
duties. His private charities were 
innumerable, and of him it could 
be said truly that Ins right hand 
knew nothing oi the generosity 
nt the left. W hen chance laid 
before him an opportunitj tor a 
good aet ion. he never evaded it, 
though it might cost him infinite 
trouble and annoyance. How 
many poor smtls has he saved 
from the destitution and misery 
that, in a great city, result too 
often in crime! He would not 
only give liln-r.ilh oi his money, 
and. treasure oi inestimable value, 
his time, but would take the 
greatest trouble to interest his 
friends for his needy proti 
The following brief notes furnish 
an outline of but one of many 
instances that have come under 
the writer's personal notice: 

" 1 send yon a letter from 
Mme. la Baronne Salomon de Rolhsehilil. with some money lor our poor 
protig&e. Have her write a line of thanks. I am writing myself, but that 
is not sufficient." 

And again, "Translate as soon as possible into French the certificates oi 
our protdgde and have them stamped at the Consulate oi - — . For, ii we find 
her a situation, this is indispensable." It is almost needless 10 s,i\ thai the 
situation was found. 

One bitterly cold and Stormy day we entered the atelier, where he was 
coughing heavily. Knowing that he was one "i a few guests invited to n 

onage oi high degree who was passing through the city, we expressed out 



266 



LIFE AND WORKS Ol // I \ LEOA GER0ME. 



concern thai he should expose himsell in such unfavorable weather. " I have 
jusl sent a regret," replied the master. " I am not well and should be Mire to 
lake more cold, and i hen I could not talk to my children at the fecole des Beaux- 
Arts to-morrow." While lie was speaking, there came a timid knock at the door. 
A mill, prematurely aged, haggard, and illy clad, entered the atelier. He hesi- 
tatingly addressed the master, who greeted him with marked warmth and. after 
a lew minutes' murmured conversation, said, "I will come immediately." With 
.1 look ol gratitude, the man bowed low and left the room. Pulling on bis great- 
coat, tn mine continued, " You must excuse me. I shall probably not return till 

late. lie lives at Belleville. It is one of mv old pupils who is in trouble, pool 

de\ il. he will never do anything ' I must e,o and si e how I can help him." 
" Hut your eold ! " w e remonsl i ated 

" I musl risk U ; he needs me, 

" Mm vim :^,i\ e up the reception 
" They did not need me ' " 
\nd the Ecole to-morrow ?" 

" The boys must endure my growl '/" 

" You will al leasl lake \nm lneaklast ?" 

" I have no time he is waiting ' I am off u bientdt f " 

The concierge told us, the nexl da)', thai Gerdme returned late in the after- 
noon, utterly exhausted, having eaten nothing all day, and thai he had gone 
i" bed with a violenl chill. "He went oul to the fccole tliis morning at 
half-pasl seven, all the same, added Thomas. "He would go there it he 
were dying ! " 

We were at work in the studio when the master came in, pale and fagged, 
and. aftet lecturing two hours unable to speak above a whispi 

What about your old pupil?" we asked, while he was preparing his palette. 

"Ah, mon Dieu ! he needed me badly enough ; he was painting a Venus, a 
Venus of the Ratignolles ! It was frightful.'" A look ol profound commisera- 
tion o\ erspread his i 
Was thai all?" 

"Oh, no ! Ihe\ had no lire, no clothes, nothing to eat ' thai was soon rem- 
edied ' Uui thai Venus, nothing could ever remedy that ! " And from time to 
time during tin- day, the master paused in his wank and. overcome by the remem- 
brance, sighed, " Oh, Unit Venus ! it was frightful! 

Wearied by his toil, and worn b\ an\iet\ lor a member ol the family who 
for some time had been seruuish ill, Ger6me accompanied his household, in July 
ol i.sss. io one of their summer residences, in Calvados. Hut even here he did 
not become an idler. From St. Martin aux Chartrains, near Ponl 1'Eveque, he- 
pens the following characteristii lettei to a friend: 



///■/• \ND WORKS Of II \\ llo\ (,/, jii; 

"I had hoped t<> send you in this letter a little sunshine, for during the last 
two days the weather has been very fine, and I had begun to work in the open 
air ; but 1 have been forced t<> follow the caprices of the barometer, and retreal 
indoors, for the wind has turned to the southwesl and il has rained all night. 
Su I am compelled to begin something else that I can paint in the house. I am 
the more annoyed by the bad weather, because all m\ children are here and 
we can neither ride nor walk, which is a pity, for the countr} is superb, a 
veritable garden too well watered just now ' I wrote you to Bella Vista. Did 
you receive the letter, which arrived possibly alter your departure? The bad 
news of the health oi your mothei has grieved me deeply, and I hope that by 
the time you receive this letter she will be much better. I wish it with all my 
heart. ! kno'w too well the anguish one endure-, beside a beloved invalid, and 
1 pity am one who is in this sail situation li is unfortunate thai you cannol 
work, for work is the grand remedy for all evils, a way oj escape from all grit /> 
Happily 1 am still in sufficiently good health not to be condemned to inaction, 
or 1 should be the most miserable o1 mortals! You are wrong to read so much. 
when your eyes are not in good condition. 'The eye is an instrument that 
must be taken care of, since we can do nothing without it. Repose is often the 
best medicine lor this organ. Take care also oi the spirit, the soul: ]><> noi 
let yoursell be disturbed. One must always react, regain lull self-possession, 
not allow one's sell to be led , A always master! 

Later in August, "Rain, rain, always raining! What abominable 
weather! Soon 1 shall have to dress m a diving-suit in order to go out at all. I 
am sitting before my cam as as stupid as a goose, unable to work. Decidedly I 
must make an ellorl to get a fresh start ' 

Later still in August 

"1 have received the proofs von sent me. and, in accordance with your 
suggestion, have written Mr ITaser, Kivny him some advice as to changes in 
productions. I've made up my mind to come back to Paris at the end ol 
this month. The weather has been wretched here all the tune and I have 
scarcely been able to work, and that very badly/ Just now I am making a 
Study ot a horse, and this animal won't --land still a second ' I fear I shall be 
obliged to give it up, which would annoy me v erv much, as I need it." 

On his return to Tans, tierome devoted himsel! lo his magnum OpUS, the 

Tanagra, which electrified the world at the Salon oi 1890. \t the same time 
he worked on tin- Trumpeter, which represented one ol the musicians who were 
wont to head the procession of gladiators, as they marched around the arena 
before engaging in the deadly struggle. This figure, casl in the bronze, is a 
mosl astonishing anatomical Study. The inflation of the cheeks, the contrac- 
tion of the chest, the tension of the muscles in the limbs, the sturdy planting 
ol (he feet, as he marches carrying his might} tuba, combine to produce a mosl 



268 //// \ND WORKS 01 H M ii<>\ i./hi'Mi 

realistic as well as thoroughly artistic work. Nut content with having two 
models al work, one posing while the other rested, in their respective ateliers, 
the master began with a third, for the exquisite Head q/ Diana, which was fin- 
ished aboul the same time as the Trumpeter. He went from one to the other 
his models often exhausted, he never pausing for rest' 'The Diana was east 
in dead silver bronze, a highl) burnished crescenl m<»>n forming an admirable 
background for the lovely head. 

His joyous labor was interrupted by the sudden death of the artist Boulan- 
ger, which affected him mosl seriously; stunned for days into inaction, he 
eventuallj Sung himself into Ins work with a feverish energy thai evidently 
sought to stifle sorrow and leave no time for vain regret. His nun health 
visibly failing, his friends besought him to tak< absolute repose. Bui the 
answer, hall-sad. half-smiling, was invariably the same: " I have no time!" 
adding mere than <>nce, " It is my turn next and I must finish the Tanagra In si !" 

Hut even his busy ami dexterous hands could not keep pace with the concep- 
tions that thronged his brain, imperiously demanding form and expression on 

canvas, or. still more satisfying to his inmost desire, m the clay, alterwaid to 

he firmly fixed in bronze or marble. We well remember standing in the inner 
atelier, in the early twilighl of a winter evening, and looking at the half-finished 
Tanagra which Gerfime had unswathed to show us his progress. At her feet 
a mass oi clay which the porter had just broughl tor the next day's 
work. Suddenly seizing a double -hand! ul. the master looked at it as one 

ds a beloved friend, and cried. "Ah' the beautiful earth!" with such a 

fervor of tenderness, that it seemed impossible the senseless clay should not 
have thrilled into instant and sentient being, under the vivifying touch of this 
Nineteenth Century Pygmalion ! 

But the artist forced himself to reserve the brightest days lor painting, 
ami. as a change from the figures he was modeling, he again returned to the 
desert and his much loved lions. 

Before the New Near. Solitude, a scene representing a majestic lion. 
couchant and gazing into space, was finished. The mysterious charm of this 
picture, even greater than that of Les Deux Majestes, has been felt by all who 
have seen it. Al the same time foul 01 live other paintings were on different 
easels and the master passed from one to the other, working Willi a sure. In in 

touch and incredible rapidity; never confused, carrying out the design that 
had been absolutely finished in Ins mmd before i he scene was sketched upon 
the canvas. To study these and watch their gradual completion was an absorb- 
ing and enjoyable occupation. One o\ the most fascinating was the lion 
prowling on the shores nl the Red Sea, Qu&rens quern devoret, tor which Gerdme 
made the sketch, as our readers will remember, when camping with Lenoir 



I. Ill- AND WORKS Oh //■:.!. V L&ON G&RdMl .'71 

by the Gulf dI Akabah, on the Red Sea. The fleecy clouds pile up and mell 
awa) toward the horizon, while, through the haze, one perceives alluring paths 
leading up from height to height upon the mountain. At its base, masses 
dI rock in warm tones ol brown, and drifts ol yellow sand, reach to the water's 
edge. The lion, with lowered head and eye intent, powerful, subtle, alert, 
steps softly yet firmly, bis shadow sharply projected on the ston) beach, 
where waves of a deep yet tender green break in delicate foam This canvas, 
absolutely flawless in idea and execution, was finished in the early summer 
hi insu. and, we believe, immediately found an American purchaser, Spring- 
time in Arabia, the lioness rolling among the flowers, which has been already 
described, was exhibited in the spring of 1890 .h the Cercle Artistique in Paris 
A remarkable painting, the background oi which never satisfied the artist, and 
which he altered frequently, represented Vegroes Carrying Home <i Dead Lion. 
The absolute lifelessness ol the great beast, suspended, limp and inanimate, 
mi the shoulders ot the savages who stagger under its weight, is expressed 
with surprising verity. Among others were The Love Letter, in which Cupid 
guides the hand ol a charming young girl ; Cupid and the Vestal, who blushes 
m her sleep under the potent gaze ol Love, who lilts her veil . Inacreon and 
Cupid, in three scenes: Anacreon warming the wet and shivering god, who has 
begged him for shelter; Anacreon pierced to the heart by an arrow from the 
quiver ol the ungrateful and fleeing traitor, and Anacreon aged and brut, 
beholding in the embers of the smoldering fire the roguish, tantalizing features 
ot the fickle Love ol his early youth ' ./ Lion Pursuing Antelope, leaping in the 
air in his endeavoi to reach the last straggler in the fleeing herd, and another 
lion snapping at a troublesome wasp. 

The political agitation oi the winter oi 1889 occasioned some spirited discus- 
sions in the atelier, and. contrary to his custom, G6r6me allowed himseli to be 
interviewed concerning the elections that seemed pregnant with dangei to his 
beloved France. In reply to the question, "Ought we, in the interests oi the 
country, to vote for General Boulanger?" he wrote as follows 

"To speak truly, I know nothing about it. but I think, No.' I tear that 

those who vote foi the General in order to strangle the Republic, will send 
us from the 'frying-pan into the lire. As for me, I shall vote neither for him 
nor for Jacques. 

"Genera] Boulanger has denied his signature, on the tribune; he is sur- 
rounded bv people of \ erv bad repulal ion. and he inspires me with no confidence 
in the future. 

Monsieur [acques is perhaps a good man . I do not know, lor I have never 

heard him spoken of Hut I mistrust him, lor he represents the Communists, 

thai is 10 say, incendiarism and assassination ! 



-7- rill iX/> WORKS OI Ji i\ c£OA i, I a; nil 

" I shall vote for Pasteur, in the hope thai he will cure us of the political 
madness which, since the advenl oi the Republic, has deranged our country! 

" Paris, 24th January, 1880. J. L. GER6ME." 

This characteristic letter was published in /.< Matin and aroused considerable 
attention l>\ its briei bul trenchanl exposition of the real situation. As a matter 
oi fact, G6r6rae did actually vote for Pasteur, for we happened to be in the atelier 

"ii the morning oi the elections. 

and can testify that he went. 

in company with the sculptor 

Fremiet, to deposit his vote for 
the greal specialist ' 

I hi master. 111 spite of per- 
sistent entreaties, declined to 
send an exhihit to the Universal 
Exposition of 1889, on the 
ground that all of his later 
works were so widely scattered 
— from Russia to America -that 
it would be impossible to re- 
unite them. The owners were 
reluctant to risk them, and the 
artist did not insist. Hut he 
pted a position on the jury, 

and faithfully discharged his 
onerous and fatiguing functions. 

To tile Salon oJ [889, liou - 

ever, he sent Love, the Con- 
queror, an admirable canvas. 
lull ot poetry and strength, representing the all-powerful god of Love enter- 
ing .1 cage lull of wild beasts, who at Ins advent begin to roar "as gently as 
am sucking dove." There is a look of surprise and respect for his daring on the 
dignified features ot Hie African lion, and into 1 he eyes oi a fierce lioness si 
strange tenderness ; a magnificent Bengal tiger rolls upon Ins hack asii wooing 
the beautiful child to join in Ins gambols, and a treacherous black panther. 
utterly subdued, lengthens out its lithe form and protrudes its red tongue to lick 
tint] ban feet! Among these superbl} drawn animals is a spotted jaguar, 
with glittering green eyes, who approaches with stealthy tread but does not 
attempt to attack this universal conqueror. Confident of Ins power, the lovely 

bo) smiles at one and all, and fully justifies the quaint couplet ol the sagacious 



II II. AND WORKS OF fEAN 



»73 



Voltaire which underlines the canvas: "Qui que tu sots, void ton maitrel // 
Vest, te ////. on le doit itret " (Whoever thou art, behold thy master ' He is, he 
u as 01 should be !) 

Ai the Cercle Artistique hung the Qucerens quern devoret&nd a Hunting Scene 

in the /'ores/ of Meudon, a chai tning landscape, I be cenl ral figure "l which is i be 
hospitable friend oxer whose preserves 
(lerome shoots regularly, twice 
week, during the season. 

I !i other figtlres are also portraits 
of well-known Parisians, among them 

irtisl himself. The smoke drifts 
away among the almost leafless 
the trophies of the day's spoil 
are laid in comely rows upon the 
ground, while down the avenue come 
the gamekeepers with hands well 
filled, to add to the collection. It is a 
genial, attractive scene, worthy oi our 
best landscapists and possessing an 
unusual feature in the masterly draw- 
ing of men and dogs. 

The Universal Exposition oi 
brought all the world to Paris, and 
many were the visits we made to the 
atelier to present friends to the 
mastet Americans. English, Swedes, 
Norwegians, Italians, Germans, and 
[apanes ' 1 1 i ceived them all with his nm at j ing 
and though his official duties on the jury made th< 
precious, he never allowed In-- visitors to feel that then coming was inapropos 
or that he would prefet i" abridge their stay. The effort to make up for 
time lost through innumerable and unavoidable interruptions told seriou lj on 
his health, hut in spite of constant suffering and increasing weakness, he 
persisted m the performance ol many Wearisome duties entailed upon lnni l>\ 
his artistic and social position. In a n In d July, [889, he writl 

" I am greatly grieved to learn that you are again ill. I praj foi yourprompt 

ry. I too am sick, having taken a seven cold >i thi 1 po ition, and 
for three clays 1 have been very miserable Who troubles me most is. 

that to-morrow, in spin- oi my wretched state, I must absolutelj 

the Palais des Champs-Elys6es, where in\ presence ma} be useful to certain 




ami e v [UlSlte C< >m lc-.\ . 
time lor work doiilih 



274 I'll WD WORKS (>/■ // IX no. \ GiRdME 

pupil-- nl mine who are competing for the traveling purses. I wish your 
dear mother a bon voyage .' " 

Attendance at this meeting, where he interested himsell beyond his strength 
in lull, ill ol In-- pupils, seriously aggravated Ins condition, and a violenl fever 
suddenly reduced him to a dangerous state of prostration. To a friend, then in 
London, who was greatl} alarmed by the rumors thai crossed the Channel, he 
penned with feeble hand the following lines: 

"Your good letter, which has <Uvpl\ touched me, tins moment received. 

I reply at once, hoping mine ma} find you in g 1 bealth both of body and soul. 

Do not be anxious about me. The erisis lias passed, and I am better. I shall yet 
be able to put .a bide color on canvas or scratch a bil of marble ! . . . . [t is a 
Ion- time since I retired into my tent, desillusionni as to men. women, and things. 
Youth has passed il/aut Stre philosophe / Not regrel too keenly what i 
and thank Nature tor what she leaves us. In spite ot everything, there still 
remain to me precious things tin- enthusiasm ol youth and love lor art ! I 
would like, before passing to a better world, to create in sculpture a seri 
works equal to those | have made in painting. 1 have always sufficient courage, 

and. it my health dors not lail me, 1 do not despair ol accomplishing this. Work- 
is ///, -,./, consolation ol old age I Happy those who are able to devote 
themseh es to it." 

In all his stress oi suffering he always had a thought lor those who depended 
on him. He forgot no one, he neglected nothing, however seemingly trivial, as 
we have seen by these fragments ol correspondence. He sent a cheery message 
lure, a feebly-scrawled line there, exhorting all to patience, courage, perse- 
verance, self-possession, and above all. to unflagging industry. It was his 
sovereign cure lor all ills! I lis indomitable spirit, which he bad trained to 
rule his body, asserted itself now. He looked at the work that crowded three 
ateliers, and said to himself."/ must finish this." Thanks to a temperance 
ot living, in every respect, which bordered on abstemiousness, there remained to 
this youthful veteran an astonishing recuperative power. Hut there was no 
doubt, in tlu- minds of the lew friends who saw him daily during this anxious 
time, that his determination to get well was the duel factor in his recovery, 

winch was as surprising as his illness had been sudden ami severe. 

He wanked much at Bougival, on the roof ol Ins summer atelier, which was 
arranged so that the trees and shrubbery inclosed and sheltered it from curious 
eyes, enabling him to pose his model in the open air and obtain wonderful 
atmospheric effects. A , hef-d'auvre painted here this summer is called Bath- 
sheba, and represents the beautiful wife of Uriah the Ilitlile. bathing on the ter- 
race-roof ol her house. This figure is a marvel of plastic grace and delicate 
flesh-tints, ami the effects of light are equall) amazing. 



///•/ IJVJD WORKS Ol JI.W llo\ <,//.<M// 275 

In August, he writes 

"I did not receive your letter till lasl evening, and attributed youi non- 
appearance al the atelier to the bad weather. I am sorry to know thai you an 
again suffering with your eyes, and, nol seeing you to-day, fear thej are 

no better. Bathe them with hoi tea, as hoi as you can hear it ! and taki 1 

care of yourself. 1 have seen Mr. He stayed some time with me, and 

we chatted about the Orient. It is twenty years since we met. Mow old 
he looks! Bui he probably said the same oi me! which is nol consoling. The 
marble has arrived' I am hurrying to finish the little copy in ordei to begin 
our hand-to-hand struggle! What ii // should prove the strongest !" 

The little COpj tO which he refers is a small replica ol the CEdipe, which 

he had consented to make in order to escape from urgenl and persistent 
entreaties to sell the original. He made but our alteration, in the pose oi the 
horse oi Bonaparte, but more than once while painting on this little canvas 
he remarked, " it will be better than the first." This gem has found a home 
in England. The marble alluded to was the Tanagra, which had jusl been 
brought to his ground-floor atelier on the Rue de Bruzelles, from the workshop 
where it had been roughly fashioned from the bloek alter the east. It was 
something wondrous to see this ideally beautiful creature slowly emerge from 
its chrysalis under the magic touch of the master, typifying thai epoch oi art 
which produced the graceful statuettes excavated a few years ago on the site 
of the ancient city of Tanagra. Heroine's Tanagra is a life-size female figure, 
seated in Egyptian fashion on a rude bloek. the stillness ol this ancient style 
relieved by the position ol the arms and feet. The latter are drawn up, one 
posed lightly upon the other: the righl arm. turned so that the palm ol the 
hand curves to the back, rests upon the block; the Kit. bent al the elbow. 
IS extended, and in the palm of the hand is poised a dainty Statuette "I 

a dancing-girl, the drapery flying around the exquisitely molded form, the 
iiead bent to look through a hoop, grasped lightly hut firmly. Serene, far- 
seeing eyes, shadowed by waves oi rippling hair, look out from the purely 
Grecian face of the /anemia, and seem to demand oi future generations 
their verdict as to the beauty ol the lovely figurine she presents for then 
inspect ii m 

Against the bloek leans a pick, and in the dibris we descry other lovely heads 
and arms, revealing a wealth of artistic beauty which still awaits resurrection. 
Words fad to describe the dignity of this goddess-like figure, which, though 
palpitating with life, still overawes one by the majestic purit} expressed 
in every line and contour ol its superb form. With even greater ardor than 
attended the creation ol the Omphale, the master worked on this, his Benja- 
min, his best-beloved brilliant lights, multiplied by many reflectors, enabling 



276 I 111 AND WORKS, ci II .1 \ lli'X cii-cmi 

him to labor far into the night. It was always with reluctance thai he quitted 
this little atelier for the large studios where many canvases, lon» promised, 
awaited completion, and only his rigid conscientiousness prevented him from 
turning them all to the wall and abandoning himsell entirely to Ins qrande 
passion. Among his latesl paintings Eire / Sentinel, Camels Drinking, Boileau 
and Moliere, The Marabout, A Wood-nymph, and Far Niente the latter a fine 
old Hon taking his siesta in the desert. \t>i content with these, he wi 
ai the same time upon the portraits in marble "l his daughters, reproducing 
in each not only the beautiful features, bul a startling, vivid, and expressive 
personality. It is small wonder thai the month of Octobei found him again 
wearied and exhausted, and drawing heavily upon his reserve strength and 
will power, in order to continue all the work he had blocked out. Relying too 
much on the vigorous constitution thai had enabled him to rally so remarkably 
in the summer, and undeterred by the chilline a and dampness of the ground- 
floor atelier, he labored on unceasingly, hopin to finish the Tanagra before 
the advenl oi the winter. Asa natural result, he became one of the first victims 
oi hi grippe, long before it developed into the epidemic which ravished Paris 
perhaps more fatally than any other large citj Making lighl of this attack, 
as was his wont, he was soon completely prostrated, and so rapid wa 
progress of this mysterious disease, that the cud seemed very near. But this 
ardent spirit refused to he quenched! He insisted on being brought out to the 
large atelier, where be lay upon the divan and, from time to time, with an 
which lelt him pallid and panting, he would seize his sculptor's burin and 
work tor a moment upon the bust of his daughter, which was drawn up close 
to his couch. He murmured often. "Je veux mourn- en travaillant" (1 wish 
to die working), and sometimes, seeing the unconquerable grief and emotion 
of the friends who gathered round him, he would look at them reproachfully, 
" Wats, qu'est-ce que vous avez Join:'" (Why. what i> the matter with 
you ' ) and then, in his inimitable style, he would relate some a mil sine, am 

adding, "II faut rire et mourir / " (One should smile and die!) To a friend 
w ho was obliged to lea\ e Pat is at tin-, mosl critic. d lime on account ot sudden ill- 
ness in the family. In- senl a wool oi encouragement, writing with much diffi- 
culty : "The iei. gram you had 1 he goodness to send me has reassured me ; 11 

3 with a fortnighl in bed, it will he nothing. This favorable state has. 
1 trust, dissipated ill your apprehensions and restored serenity to your troubled 
spirit. 1 await the promised letter, and have good hope that it will bring me 
still belter new- than that in your very brief dispatch. Arm yourself with 
patience. One must meel the accidents of lite with calmness, and face its storms 
with tranquillity ; it is the besl way to render one's sell master in critical situa- 
tions and to vanquish all difficulties." 



LIFE AND works OF // I \ l/(<\ ■./ 279 

Contrary to even his own expectations, as he afterward acknowledged, the 
master again rallied, though his strength returned bul slowly. This convales- 
cence was retarded 1>\ two untoward and almost fatal incidents. The ,^as 
escaped during the night from the large stove in the inner atelier and penetrated 
to his sleeping-chamber through the open door oi the communicating passage. 
Owing to the great height of the rooms, ilus deadly poison was probably so 
diffused that its c\ il effects weir diminished and the master's life saved. \\ hile 

still weak from 1 h is additional assault, he endeavored, in the dim twilighl ol a 

November day. to reach down from a cabinel a bronze vase a late acquisition. 
Mis strength failing him. the vase fell, striking his noble forehead, cutting a 
deep gash and dabbling his snowy hair with Mood. The wound in itself proved 
not very serious, bul the concussion was terrible. These trying and painful 
circumstances revealed, to those who were fortunate enough to be near him, 
new beauties in this noble nature, whose patient fortitude in suffering taught 
a lesson never to be forgotten, The physical distress and pain, though often 
extreme, seemed to be nothing as compared with the resulting inability to 
work. A little later he writes. " 1 still remain feeble and an;emie. lint think 
this condition will soon come to an end ; it troubles me much on account of my 
work — one can do nothing well without good health. Good health ami vigoi ol 
mind go hand in hand." 

Paris was now in the fatal clutches of la grippe, and. barely convalescent 
himself, G£r6me resumed his usual habit ot life, adding a daily round ol \imn 
to old friends and comrades who had succumbed to the general malad) 
Careless of himself, he was unwearied in his eare ot others, and exposing 
himself, he reproved them roundly did they fail to submit to the most rigid 
precautions! In December he writes to one of them : " I hope von are better 
1 was utterly astonished, on going to see von yesterday, lo Imd that 
yon hail gone OUl 111 such bitterly cold weather, and at such an hour! Il was 
the height of imprudence, and, in this time of epidemic, very dangerous. Send 
me a line to reassure me as to your health. 1 am just Starting lor the chase, 
and count on finding a letter on my return this evening ! " When assailed 111 
turn by the reproaches ot his friends, he laughed, saying, "Vatts save2 que ,,■ 
suis depuis longtemps 'exempt'.'" adding, with an amused appreciation ol his 
own double entendre," Ce <///(■ me sauve, e'est que fe .'■ins plein-air-iste ! "' which 
was probably literally tine, though in the bitter winter weather it seemed a 
heroic cure. 

At this lime he began the portrait in pencil, oi his dear old friends Protais 
and Arago, going e\ ery morning, as we have .dread v relati d, to the atelier ot the 
first, who was daily becoming more feeble. Arago, however, posed in Heroine's 
studio, and one of our most vivid memories is ol our last visit to the atelier. 



28o 



///■/■. AND WORKS <>/■ //./.v //.ox (,ki;a\ii 



where Ger6me, convulsed with merrimenl over his friend's witty sallies, vainly 
endeavored to compose himself in order to proceed with his work ; while his 
model, without relaxing a line ol Ins imperturbable countenance, increased thi 
general hilariu l>\ bursting oul with an eloquent harangue man indescribable 
jargon that he termed " Boffaloa-Billa-Engleesha," to the intense delighi ol Ins 
only serious auditor, a small American boy, who believed, in good faith, that 

this Parisian ol Parisians 
was talking pure Choctaw/ 
In February, 1.S90, the 
master writes : 

" I will send you short- 
ly a proof of the portrait 
"t AxagO, and also one ol 
Protais. Alas, poor I'm. 
tais! We lost him tl 
weeks ago. A pneumonia 
grafted itself on his heai 1 
disease : he took to his bed. 
where he remained eight 
days, and died. His loss is 
plj felt by everybody, 
lor he was greatly helo\ nl 
and. above all, esteemed 
for his upright spirit and 
character. 

" It has deeply afflicted 
me, more deeply than I can 

express Apropos ol 

Utters. 1 have had those 
Arago gave you copied, 

and will send them to you with the bust, the drawings, and the photographs. 

I am working always unremittingly, lor my health, which keeps good, 
permits me to do s,,. At this moment I am putting the finishing touches on 
the figure ol Tanagra, and in two or three days I shall paint it. 1 rely much on 
this proceeding to give life to the marble, provided that it succeeds! I have 
commenced also to model some lions, in order to improve the two pictures which 
you will remember. These sculptures will enable me to find picturesque and 
true effects of light which 1 could not well obtain de chic, as the painterssay; 1 
shall also sculpture a lion, life-size, to bring some pleasure into my life and 
amuse myself a little. It will cost me a greal deal, but one caul pay too 
dearly tor such pleasures! To-day they brought me the bust ol Lavoix, which 
has been very well cist. I think I shall send the Tanagra to the coming 

Salon 




LIFE AND WORKS 01 // t\ CEOA GERdMB. 281 

This bronze busl of the Director of the Departmenl of Medals in the Biblio 
thdque Nationale, is one of Ins best portraits, the universal verdicl being, "Jlfais, 
c'est absolument lui. " 

The coloring oi the Tanagra had long been planned by the sculptor. The 
block of marble had been carefully chosen with a \ it u to this operation, and he 
had made frequent experiments on fragments ol the same texture. The figure 
seemed perfect as u was. and we sometimes 
regretted thai the master should think ol 
incurring so great a risk. "II it does not 
succeed?" we ventured to saj one day. "I (~ 

will make another !" was the smiling ivplv 
The incessant labor of two years was but a 
bagatelle before this indomitable will. 

Later in February, he writes, " You 
must certainly have received a letter from 
me lately, announcing the death of m\ dea 
friend Protais. This loss has been very hitter 
to me. I regret it immeasurably. He was 
a beautiful soul, an upright man. a faithful 
friend. At a certain time in lite one sri"- 
everything collapse around one; it is perhaps 
the most painful accompaniment of "Id aj^e. 
.... We must elevate and Strengthen our 
souls and face the tempest with calmness and 
courage." 

Toward the end ol Mareh. 1890, the news- 
papers all through two continents contained 

the alarming dispatch from London: "The celebrated painter G6r6me lies 
dangi rously ill in this city." The overtaxed physique had again given way, and 

once more this precious life was in danger. Private letters from London at last 
chronicled his improvement and departure with liis friend, the Due d'Aumal 
the Island of Sicily, where he had a very serious relapse. The -'<>tli ol May. he 
W! LteS from Paris : 

" I hasten to reassure you again as to ntv health, which has almost regained 
its usual state. I"he influenza which made me so ill about two months ago hav- 
ing relaxed its hold somewhat, I started foi Sicily, where I look eold and again 
fell ill fever, acute pains in the head, heavy eold. and, as I could take no kind of 
tool extreme feebleness. As soon as I was able to travel, I lost no time in 
embarking for home, where I have really taken good can ol myself. Hut this 
diable </<' maladie is verv persistent in its effects, and I have been shaken to the 



- s -' ///■/■ \ND II DA' AW ,)/■ //./.\ in<\ ,,!/;,> Ml 

very foundation ' I am still feeble, bul I trusl thai matters will, little by little, 
mend themselves, as before. I work without fatiguing myseli too much, and 
tranquilly await my complete restoration. I have finished the Lion in sculpture, 
life-size; it wenl to-day to be cast thai finished, il will be senl direct to the 
foundry. I think ii is a good work ; we will see when it is placed before the 
public. The statue ol Tanagra, on exhibition at this moment, is a greal success. 
greater than I dared to hope! I am well content. E1 has been bought by the 
state, to whom I have sold il for much less than it cost me, but I wished this 
work to remain in my country. Protais is buried in the cemetery <>t Montmartre. 
We had a sale oi his pictures, studies, etc. , which remained in his atelier ; it did 
not bring much. One of his pictures, the besl ami mosl important, has been 

bought by the state Justice marches with slow pace, she often arrives 

late, it she arrives at all ' Hut what is to be done? We must fight on. It is 
much In have the right on one's side.'' 

From the columns oi the Boston Transcript, under date Paris, [uly 6, 1X90, 

ami over the initials ol the lion \l. Parry Kennard, we take the following 

charming description o1 the Tanagra, as n appeared in the garden oi the 

Salon ; 

An exceptional, but a leading ami yet undemonstrative attraction in that 
spacious amphitheater oi sculptures in the I'al.us de I'Industrie was the famous 
Tanagra, in marble, by the distinguished painter and sculptor tie nunc, and which 
the French Government has acquired by purchase. This is a novel conceit, and 
entirely unconventional, representing a nude female of a purely Cii'cck type, sitting 
very upright upon what simulates a fragmentary mass of ruins partially exca- 
vated, amid the d&bris of which are discerned tiles and bricks, etc. . while in the 
Crumbling mortar, here and there, are partially exposed and imperfect Tanagra 
figures, one oi which has been secured complete, and is held in the extended left 
hand ot the statue. This marble beauty is not much above five feel in height, 
and should be under v,lass. as really the jewel ol the statuary collection, for I find 
it so esteemed. It was given a central position amid many larger and more 
ambitious works, and thus was at some disadvantage, and perhaps it was ' cavian 
10 the general,' yet one could not but be interested in observing the attention n 
d in excess of any other exhibit, Gerdme seems the most industrious ami 
untiring artist living, when we consider his main wonderful canvases, so largelj 
distributed among the royal collections of Europe and in the United States, and 
his remarkable creations in marble. I lingered an hour about this charming 
work of art, which, in its chaste simplicity, is as .1 -ill ol the gods, and only could 
conceived and executed by a great master, the versatility ol whose 
genius and whose scholarship and accomplishments render him the Leonardo ol 
his lime. I lad that historical performance of Michael Angelo been repeated, and 
this figure been secretly buried for a lime, and then publicly excavated as an 
antique, with perhaps a broken arm. it would have turned the heads oi the whole 

ail world, and been declared in its vital characteristics and Subtle anatomx .1 rival 



///■/■ \ND WORKS Of II \h ll'i<\ G&R 283 

oi the Miln Venus. Time hereafter will, i am persuaded, find warrant for all the 
praise thai is now accorded this exquisite creation. Increasing the novelty with 
which this captivating marble has been invested, the author availed himself 
of the authority of antiquity and delicately tinted it. with gratifying Buccess. 

M. Cicrdmc has just modeled a colossal sitting lion, which is now in the hands 
of the founder, to he cast in bronze intended lor the Salon oi next year." 

Being congratulated again on the enthusiastic reception of the Tanagra, the 
master replies : 

"The success ol this work has surpassed all my hopes and Idled me with 
joy. I regret that yon did not see it with the light coloring I have added lo it. 
I believe thai this pleasing pa tine, whicb gives hie to the marble, has contributed 
much to this favorable result. Excellent photographic reproductions have i» 1 
in. id. , it tin- Exposition. There are four ol them, that is to say, from every side ; 
the two profiles, the lace, and the bach ; We will choose the most interesting lor 
the book. I believe it will be the profile where the pick stands and the figurines 
emerge from the earth yon shall decide. I am obliged to change for others 
the drawings of the camels we had chosen they were made on yellow paper, 
which does not yield good proofs, and they have been returned to me as impos- 
sible to reproduce. This detail is easily remedied. 1 will find others better 
adapted. 1 have finished my portrait in a little picture which represents me 
working on the marble | Tanagra], with my model beside the statue in the same 
pose it t> said to be .1 success. It is not yet photographed, or 1 should send 
you ' proof. Have also finished a lion, life-size, warming himself in the sun 
title. Beatitude. It is just now at the founder's, and I trust to have the proof in 
a month. 1 have also begun a picture with a very hackneyed subject Pyg- 
malion tun/ Galatea; 1 have tried to rejuvenate it. The statue is coming to life 
in the upper part, while the limbs are still imprisoned in the marble so that she 
cannot change the position of her feet ; but as the upper portion of the body is 
already living, she leans to embrace her sculptor, who returns the caress most 
fen ently ' " 

Alter repeated endeavors to escape furnishing the Preface to the present 
volume, according to a promise obtained after urgenl entreats' some years 
previous, Cierdme finally yielded, and 111 .1 letter dated July, 1890, which gives 
new proof of his goodness and modesty, he says : 

I will, then, write your introduction, although I am very unskillful with 
the pen ; but 1 will try lo prove myself ecpial to yom desire, though, I repeat, it 
is a very delicate matter lor me lo write the first page "I .1 book which treats of 
me and my works, To digress a moment, I beg oi you, iet nothing be exag- 
gerated; be moderate, and do not extol too highly my poor merits. 

The following extracts are from letters written bv the master during the 

dreary winter oi 1890 1891, when he was suddenl} called upon to bear the 



284 UFL IND WONks <>/■ JEAN LEON GERdML. 

greatest trial thai had yel assailed him. We give our readers a glimpse of this 
profound grief, in the hope that it may inspire every heart to imitate the heroic 
endurance which sought surcease of sorrow only in patient, unflagging, con- 
scientious labor, and a more active expression til sympathy for his fellow- 
sufferers. 

Under the date ol November, 1890, he writes: 

"You have imposed on me a 9evere task in asking me to write a Preface 
to your hook . nothing is more difficult for me than to write. I do not know 
how, and am forced to make Stupendous efforts which, moreover, are never 
crowned with success! Mm at last ii is done, and I send ii herewith. I have 
dour m\ best, but .mi sure 11 is eery bad Mere, too, are the verses dedicated 
to me by ni\ friend Popelin, thai you wished to have. 

" ' Nous sommes, mon vieux Gerome, 
Di 1 solus combattants 

Don! la male ardeui ne chome 

Voila plus de quarante ans. 

A\ ec tori une diverse 
Nous a\ ons fail le dc\ oir, 

X ill an chemin tie lra\ else 
X'a pu nous apercev oil 

" ' Dans le plein jour de la vie 
Nous avons sans cesse t te 
1 )roit, par la route sui\ ie, 
En hiver, com me en etc. 

" ' Vienne le son qui nous touche, 
Veti rans. nous briilerons 
Notre derniere cartouche, 
Et, debouts, succomberons. 

" ' Nous savons par competence 
Toul ce que \ aul le tra\ ail ; 

Sans lui. la courte existence 
Serail 1111 epoin anl.nl 

" ■ Aussi. nous menons nos ceuvres, 
El ne nous arretons pas 
Pour echapper au \ couleui res 
( )ui pullulenl sous nos pas. 

" l'oi. Ill lais parler la loile 
\ dl lui tons les mots ; 
Xe sous une inoindi > I loile 
|e lixe au leu des cinaux. 



LIFE AND WORKS OF I rw LEOA GEl 285 

" • Mais suv ninn esquif on rade 
Quelquefois j'ecris des \ ers, 
Recois Ics. moil camarade, 
Avec lcs deux bras ouverts.' 

". . . . Life is only a succession oi sorrows anil sacrifices; one must resign 
one's self, since tilings arc so ordered and eannol be otherwise on this globe /< r- 
raqui, where oui sojourn is not in any wise desirable. May you be recompensed 
tor your self-denial, A.s for me, I have foi a long time led a painful existence, 
as you know ; hut the most cruel blow has been reserved for me. M\ only son, 
built like Hercules, has fallen ill of consumption, and, I tear in truth I am 
sure the future has mosl mournful changes in store tm me. My entire family 
left this evening to pass the winter with him in a mildei climate, at Cannes, and 
1 shall remain here all alone for si\ months. In addition, my father-in-law, 
already ven aged, is nearing his end. and from this quarter a catastrophe is 
imminent ; you see that all this is not very cheerful. Further still. I myself am 
far from well, hut I keep up good courage and plunge up to my neck in work ; 
this in absolutely necessary tor me. tor I am miserable, unhappy, desolate, in a 

deserted house I painted this summer several pictures, which are not 

quite finished al oj Cairo, Venus Rising (the start, and the Pygmalion mul 
Galatea This latter. I think, shows good invention, and I shall shortly put the 
last touches on it. For tin- moment, I have abandoned myself entirely to sculp- 
ture, and am making a figure oi Bellona uttering her war-cry ; this statue is life- 
size and will lie made in various materials ; the nude parts in ivory, the draperies 
and armor in gilded or silvered bronze, the whole tinted in different colors. It 
is a considerable work and probably the last oi similar importance that I shall 
create. 1 have strong hope that I shall succeed, but also have my doubts ; we 
shall see ' " 

As »v remembei the sketch of tin- Venus alluded to. the canvas showed a 
stretch ot blue, Star-lit heavens, veiled here and there by Semi-transparent clouds 
which drift across a beautiful lace and bust oi the Queen of Stars, whose rising 
eclipses all lesser lights. Even in its unfinished state, this picture exhibited a 
luminosity ot atmosphere that it would be hard to surpass. 

Days and weeks of unremitting, almost frenzied labor now ensued, until the 
master was summoned away to sustain by his comforting presence the poor 

invalid who had alreadv entered the Valley of the Shadow ot Death In the 

month ot January comes a letter, in which he struggles to tace. with unflinching 
id- lull. 1 prospect of bereavement that lies before him and. with his 
n^ual unselfishness, puts aside even this great griel to 1 nihil requests which are 
regarded as veritable duties bv tins conscientious spirit, lie sus 

" It is from Cannes that I write you.. always behindhand nowadays with my 
letters; it is because, in this latter time, my life has been peculiarlj over- 
burdened, and then I am a prey to the most acute mental suffering. 1 am 



286 ///■/■ AND WORKS <>/■ II IJV I lo.x G&Rdifl 

here, having left Paris and suspended all work, to stay by the bedside <>i my 
son. who is extremely ill ; alas! unhappily, I must avow it, dying. You can well 
understand, can you not, in what condition «>t mind 1 am, ami how profoundly 
nn whole being is agitated, when I behold the frightful spectacle which pre- 
.1 l thi death ol a young man ol twenty-five! . . . . 1 leave this mournful 
subjei i i" reply to your questions. 1 have long since given orders to make the 
plate ol the Tanagra from the profile winch besl renders the statue; it ii is 
noi yet finished, it should be very soon, for I did justice, without delay, to your 

most legitimate request, as soon as you expressed to me. m one o! your letters. 

alreadj old, the desire you had on this subject. This point then, is entirely 

cleared up have no more anxiet) about n Since you interest yourself 

as much as ever in my work, I will make a little recapitulation ol that which 
I have jusl finished or which is under way. 

•• First, the large figure ol Bellona ; she is standing on tiptoe, with her arms 
thrown hack ; naturally m one hand she holds a sword, in the oilier a shield; 
at her feet, upon the pedestal which represents a hall ol the terrestrial globe 
a map of the world cut in two -is coiled a serpent ; his head is raised and the 
immense jaws are open. The figure is draped in a tunic and mantle raised by 
the wind, which gives a certain movement to the ensemble. This sculpture 
appears to have gained the approbation of those who have seen it; Inn. the 
model once finished, I am not yet at an end ol the problems to lie solved, tor 1 
wish to execute this statue in different materials, bronze gilded and tinted, 
oxidized silver, niellos, etc, and the nudes in ivory; all this does not tail to 
give me some anxiety, lor it is a difficult thing to find all the workmen to success- 
fully carry out so complex a work, I shall, however, do my very besl, and have 
decided to make all necessary sacrifices to obtain the desired result, I have 
also lately finished a little figure in marble, half life-size, of a dancing-girl : it 
is like the one Tanagra holds in her hand, only ihis is more seriously made, and 
the nude portions, as well as the draperies, have been studied with care. 1 have 
painted it, and I believe I have succeeded with the coloring; I was still work- 
ing on it the day of my departure, but was able to finish it. It will be exposed 
at the Cercle, as well as the portrait (bust) of General Cambric-Is. and the 
picture representing me at work on the Tanagra, with my model at one side in 
the same pose ; I think it is of an agreeable tone of color, but one does not 
know exactly what to think of one's work until il has been placed before the 
public, which praises or condemns. When an artist has accomplished all of 
which he is capable, when he has tried to put both his soul and his heart into 
his work, he should await this verdict with tranquillity. Also ias I have men- 
tioned) I have finished a lion in sculpture, life-size, who is going to sleep while 
warming himself in the sun (title. Beatitude). I shall reserve this for the 
coming Exposition in the month of May. Among my pictures are a large ' 

the Pygmalion and Galatea (which I intend very shortly to put into marble), 
and some lions three or four, in different situations pursuing antelope in the 
i i watching for prey in a landscape ol and mountains (Salon iSoi) the 

same one as the sculpture, lighted by the rising sun. and another tormented by 



nil l.\/> WORKS OF JEAA I io\ G&ROML 287 

a butterfly. This is about all that 1 have done lately ; but during the last four 
months I have been greatly disturbed by this calamity which has so suddenlj 
assailed me, and whose last blow 1 now await." 

These mournful apprehensions were too soon to be realized. Before the 
spring had come the journals ol Paris chronicled the death ol Gerome's onl) 
son, and, on both sides of the Atlantic, sympathy for the master's irreparable 
loss was universal and profound. Almosl crushed b) this cruel affliction he 
instinctively turned to his art, seeking, as ever, comforl in his work, lim th< 
blow had struck deep, and months after his letters showed that the wound had 
not yet begun to heal. 

"He is dead dead' ami only twenty-five You will comprehend 

in what condition my spirit has been and still remains; work has sustained 

me; it has not consoled me, but has helped me to endure this horrible mutila- 
tion , . . Each one has his sorrows, ol diverse nature, and one is forced to 
acknowledge that on this wretched sphere where we live, all are unhappy, .aid 

those who leave it are not to he pitied! the\ enter into rest and peace 

Hut you know all this, already, lor I wrote you all from Cannes, but it is dif- 
ficult lor me not to recur to it 

From his dear friend, the lion Mr Keiinard of Boston, win. visited tierome 

just before the firsl premonitions of this short and fatal illness were felt, we have 
the following sympathetic pen-portrait 

"You kindly ask ol me a word as to the master. Heroine. 

1 I deem it my good fortune that I can claim some personal acquaintance 
with him. Few men whom 1 have met. in what maybe thought perhaps an 
exceptional experience, so readily commanded my profound admiration, and so 
easily won my affectionate esteem Unaffected, tree from the proverbial eccen- 
tricities ol genius, quiet ami dignified in his ways, scholarly in Ins acquirements 
and in his conversation, an accomplished cosmopolitan, his agreeable person- 
ality cannot In- forgotten. 

"Chaplain's profile medallion, reproduced b\ Wyatt Eaton, and given us in 
tlu- February, 1889, number of /'//<■ Century Magazine, faithfully portrays that 
thoughtful lace, serious without austerity, and indicative ol the brain that 
has given us that remarkable pi. tin. ..I the Death oj A.i, in which is em- 
balmed so much touching pathos, intensified history, sincere and unmatched. 

"The atmosphere ami properties ot his most inviting atelier strikingl} 
illustrate the refined Student and perfect artist. Ills tastes and his treasures 
manifested there would warm enthusiasm in the dullest veins. Apparently 
indifferent to the world's applause, like Ins friend Barye, he has pursued 
with an unusual and conscious industry his own somewhat sequestered paths, 
and thus perhaps avoided a commonplace celebrity, while n has not detracted 
from his lame or his honors. 



288 /.//•/. AND WORKS Ol IF. A A I lay G&R6MI 

"The .hi life oi Paris for the last generation could not afford to lose the 
influence and the exemplar) individuality of Jean L6on G6r6me. 

" TIh i,\ en ni affection oi famous pupils attests this. Not always during the 
life of an artisl can be anticipated the award oi history; it is not, however, too 
much to predict thai the creations of this gifted master musl enroll his name 
nol only among the distinguished oi his own day, bul with the illustrious foi all 
tune. Ills sculptures, notably his Anacreon group, his Omphale,his Gladiators, 
attest the consummate anatomist and his marvelous versatility, while the) 
exhibit all the distinction and delicacy of touch that characterize his canvases. 

"His statue oi Tanagra, an irresistibly charming marble, is another 
and more recent illustration oi this manner, veritably rivaling the antiques. 
Il seems lo he given to but lew men to love and to pursue then work as dot s 
iiHii'iir, and this enthusiasm lends generous inspiration to his fertile brain 

and dexterous hand May the day he far oil when t ha I hand shall he still, 

or the well whence that inspiration is so copiously drawn shall be dry!'! 

We can hni echo this prayei from oui inmost heart as we close the record 
oi this fruitful life, leaving ihis veteran oi sixty-seven working with unabated 
energy and ever-increasing skill, as the matchless groups ol BellonaaaA Pygma- 
lion and Galatea indisputabl) attest. His powers of creation seem inexhaustible, 
and assuredly we can say oi G6r0me, as did Pliny ol Timanthes . 

" /« </// the works of this artist there is untold wealth of suggestion, and 
however lofty the pinnacle to which he Inis elevated his art, his spirit stuns 
still higher. 



HI MS , 




/ 



s